Have sword, will annihilate.
In the later Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns based on this Japanese samurai film, the human killing machine could do his work from a distance, thanks to the power of guns.
Here, Toshiro Mifune, one of the great bad-ass warriors in cinema history, has to get in close to let his blade do its full damage.
Slicing ‘n dicing, twirling ‘n whirling, his rōnin is a hack-happy avenging angel, out to wash the stench of evil warlords from the land. One body at a time.
Hugely influential, it continues to inspire action films to this day.