Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons
|Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons|
|Directed by||Kenji Misumi|
|Based on||the manga|
by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima
|Music by||Eiken Sakurai|
|Edited by||Toshio Taniguchi|
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (子連れ狼 冥府魔道 Kozure Ōkami: Meifumando, "Wolf with Child in Tow: Crossroads to Hell") is the fifth in a series of six Japanese martial arts films based on the long-running Lone Wolf and Cub manga series about Ogami Ittō, a wandering assassin for hire who is accompanied by his young son, Daigoro.
On his travels on "the Demon Path in Hell", Ogami Itto is confronted by a series of five messengers who represent a clan wanting his services. Each assassin in turn administers a specific test of his abilities, and when bested gives Ogami partial payment for the job and, as per his usual stipulation, discloses some of the "secrets and reasons" for the killing. By the time Ogami has defeated all the messengers, he has been informed of a conspiracy to disguise a daimyō's illegitimate female offspring as a prince and heir to the clan, while the official offspring, a son, is kept imprisoned and concealed. A letter detailing the plot is being delivered by a high priest, who in reality is a "grass" or secret ninja agent, to the shōgun, which would mean the dissolution of the clan, leaving retainers, samurai, and vassals without support—a disastrous end. Ogami is to intercept the priest carrying the letter, kill him and retrieve the letter; the priest will be traveling under the protection of his arch-enemy, Yagyū Retsudō, further complicating the mission.
On a stopover at a town festival, Itto's three-year-old son, Ogami Daigoro, is separated from his father and gets mixed up with a notorious female pickpocket being chased by constables. She gives him a stolen wallet to hold for her and asks him to promise not to tell anyone. Daigoro is arrested as her accomplice, but refuses to talk. The law officers publicly flog him in front of the townspeople, but Daigoro keeps his promise even after the pickpocket reveals herself and confesses. Finally the constables release him, impressed by his stoic courage and honor.
En route to intercept the priest, Ogami is contracted to kill the retired lord, his concubine and the young daughter. After securing the letter, he confronts the daimyo and kills him, his concubine and the young girl, fulfilling his contracts. The official story will be that the retired lord committed seppuku, thus preserving the clan and order and allowing the concealed heir to assume his rightful place.
- Tomisaburo Wakayama as Ogami Ittō
- Akihiro Tomikawa as Daigoro
- Akira Yamauchi as Ayabe Ukon, Messenger 1
- Hideji Otaki as Mogami Shusuke, Messenger 2
- Taketoshi Naitô as Mawatara Hachiro, Messenger 3
- Fujio Suga as Kikuchi Yamon, Messenger 4
- Rokko Toura as Sazare Kanbei, Messenger 5
- Shingo Yamashiroas Lord Kuroda Naritaka
- Tomomi Sato as "Quick Change" Oyô
- Michiyo Ōkusu as Shiranui
- Koji Fujiyama as Tomekichi the Mole
- Sumida Kazuyo as Hamachiyo
- Bin Amatsu as Inspector Senzo
- Taizen Shishido as Izumi Kazuna
- Eiji Okada as Wakita
- Minoru Ohki as Yagyu Retsudo
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons was released theatrically in Japan on 11 August 1973 where it was distributed by Toho. The film was released on home video by Samurai Cinema, a division of AnimEigo with English subtitles on 20 July 1997.
- Galbraith IV 2008, p. 291.