Director: Toshio Matsumoto
Year Released: 1971
Masterless samurai Gengobe (Katsuo Nakamura) is given the chance to rejoin his peers - for the low fee of 100 ryo! - but instead uses that money to purchase Koman (Yasuko Sanjo), a geisha that he's madly in love with ... only to find out Koman is already married to Sangoro (Juro Kara) and that she's in on the trickery. While it never quite breaks free from its origin as a stage play - and is a bit too 'protracted' considering it's fundamentally a revenge story - Matsumoto cranks up the intensity the longer it goes on, leading up to the tragic (and gory) third act where Gengobe survives the whole affair, but is presumably left haunted the rest of his days. It's a shame Matsumoto only directed four feature-length films, because his confidence here is something remarkable (let's just pretend Dogra Magra doesn't exist).