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Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972)

Directed by Kenji Misumi, Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance, is set in Japan during an unspecified year of the Edo period. As the film opens we meet Ittō Ogami (Tomisaburō Wakayama) a disgraced former executioner to the Shōgun. Ogami’s wife was murdered by three ninjas and he was framed for treason so he now just wanders the countryside, pushing a baby cart containing his 3-year-old son Daigoro (Akihiro Tomikawa) and is working as an assassin for hire.

One day a crazy woman snatches Daigoro from the cart and proceeds to try to breastfeed the boy. Daigoro at first hesitates, but after a stern look from his father, he proceeds to suckle the woman’s breast. The woman’s mother then apologizes for her daughter’s behavior and tries to give Ittō money, but he refuses, saying his son was hungry anyway.

Later Ogami is hired by a chamberlain to kill a rival and his gang of henchmen, who pose a threat to the chamberlain’s lord. The chamberlain tries to test Ogami’s skills and soon comes to realise he is not to be messed with. The targets are in a remote mountain village that is home to hot-spring spa pools. Upon arrival Ogami discovers the rival chamberlain and his men have hired a band of ronins who have taken over the town and are raping, looting and pillaging. Ogami is forced to give up his sword and take his place as a hostage in the village but they soon learn that they may have underestimated this lonewolf and cub…

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