1971-1980AsianDramaJapanMasaki Kobayashi

Masaki Kobayashi – Inochi bô ni furô aka Inn of Evil (1971)


Plot Synopsis [SamuraiDVD.com]
This is another masterpiece from filmmaker KOBAYASHI Masaki, noted director of HARA KIRI, KWAIDAN, and SAMURAI REBELLION. The Japanese title is actually translated as “We give our lives for nothing”, and is the true heart and soul of this story. Based on a novel by YAMAMOTO Shugoro, who also wrote the books upon which SANJURO, KILL, and AFTER THE RAIN, were based, it tells the tale of a group of thieves and murderers who find it within themselves to sacrifice their lives with no hope of personal gain. NAKADAI Tatsuya stars as Sada, an expert with knives, whose mysterious past comes to light as he leads a group of fugitives in their last-ditch battle to save their home, a dilapidated inn, which does not welcome strangers in its doors. KATSU Shintaro plays against type in a pivotal role as one of the only outsiders ever allowed to drink at the inn. Tension and suspense lead up to a conclusion like no other. A magnificent motion picture, and a true work of art.




  1. Watched this last night. What’s good about it? The characters. I especially liked Nakadai and Katsu. They are usually leading actors, so that is not surprising. The group of criminals are all obviously cast-offs that have found their place in this Inn. The owner and his daughter and the girl O’Kichi are the most “normal” of all the characters. The boss/inn owner has a psychological read on everyone. His daughter is the good and sensitive person who has feelings for the brooding Sada (Nakadai), who is the natural leader of the group. The O’Kichi girl is sold off by her father which disrupts the Inn’s occupants usual smuggling, robbing, and implied violent antics, when a couple of them “save” a man being beat up for drinking and not paying in town. The saved man wanted to save O’Kichi. The group slowly comes around to wanting to help. The drunk that wanders in is an enigma and is played by Shintaro Katso (Zatoichi, Hanzo the Razor, etc.). He mostly acts (one moment of tussling) in this one, and is pretty good. They tolerate him even though he might be a spy for the authorities who are plotting to shut them all down. What’s bad about it? It’s in black and white and is often fuzzy as nothing ever happens on a sunny day in this movie. It is not a “happy” movie by any measure, but it is interesting, suspenseful, and a good watch.

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