In this exciting, visually dazzling epic from Akira Kurosawa, a petty thief named Kagemusha gets saved from a death sentence because he resembles the warlord Shingen Takeda. The warlord has been fighting two other leaders for control of 16th-century Japan and impersonators often take his place during battles to put him out of harm's way. Because of Kagemusha's strong physical similarities to the warlord, he's a perfect choice for a "shadow warrior."
However, the arrangement suddenly changes when Shingen gets fatally shot while watching a battle. Adhering to Shingen's final wish, the warlord's men keep the death a secret and Kagemusha takes his place. But Shingen's oldest son refuses to go along with the plan and leads his own attack on one of the enemy armies.
Although Kagemusha's true identity is eventually discovered and he's sent away, the now-brave "shadow warrior" joins the warlord's son to make a final heroic attack on the enemy.
Audio commentary from Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
'A Vision Realised' featurette
'Coppola, Lucas and Kagemusha' video interviews (18 mins)
'Kurosawa's Continuity' stills gallery
'Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create' featurette (41 mins)