Zatoichi on the Road (1963)

Zatoichi on the Road (Zatoichi kenka-tabi)
Directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda
Written by Minoru Inuzuka from a story by Kan Shimozawa
Daiei Studios
First viewing/FilmStruck


Zatôichi: Using an innocent woman as bait – Unscrupulous coward! None of you deserves to live.

Further proof that these Zatoichi movies can do no wrong!

Having been bribed with fine food, Blind Ichi is on his way to visit a yakuza boss.  On the way he meets up with a young maiden on her way back to wealthy parents in Edo.  She is worth quite a bit of ransom and attracts the attentions of many different assailants with whom Zatoichi must do battle.

This is the fifth fine entry in the series of 26 films.  It has one of the more coherent plots. I highly recommend giving these a try to anyone willing to believe that a kindly blind masseur can dispatch twenty heavily-armed attackers with his cane sword in 30 seconds flat. This is surprisingly easy to do!



The Sword in the Stone (1963)

The Sword in the Stone
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Written by Bill Peet from a novel by T.H. White
Walt Disney Productions
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental


Archimedes the Owl: Now, boy, flying is not merely some crude, mechanical process. It is a delicate art. Purely aesthetic. Poetry of motion. And the best way to learn it is to do it.

A pleasant bit of nostalgia.

The great wizard Merlin is expecting company.  He just doesn’t know who.  His visitor takes the shape of pre-teen Arthur, better known as The Wart, a squire-in-training.  Merlin predicts a bright future for the lad and sets about educating him with the help of his owl Archemides.  The future begins to take shape when Arthur accompanies his knight to a tournament and grabs a sword from a stone to take the place of a missing weapon.

I remember loving this as a kid.  I think we had the soundtrack album.  Now it seems to have been a lesser entry in Disney’s catalogue of animated features.

The Sword in the Stone was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment.