HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Relic
Nobody
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Castle of Cagliostro, The Stop Thief!
Year: 1979
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Yasuo Yamada, Eiko Masuyama, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Makio Inoue, Gorô Naya, Sumi Shimamoto, Tarô Ishida, Kôhei Miyauchi, Ichirô Nagai
Genre: Animated, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Arsene Lupin III (voiced by Yasuo Yamada) is an international thief much sought by Interpol, though he has evaded capture thus far. His latest scheme was to steal thousands from a European casino, which accompanied by his right hand man Jigen (Kiyoshi Kobayashi), he accomplished though it was only as they were driving away down the highway with their car packed with cash that Lupin realised they'd been fooled and the notes were counterfeit. He knows who's done this: Count Cagliostro (Tarô Ishida), a far bigger villain than he is, and their paths will cross...

For Hayao Miyazaki, he had been creating anime for television, often the Arsene Lupin III series, when the opportunity arose to direct his own feature film. It sounded like just another job for him, but it was a stepping stone to international fame and huge respect from some of the finest filmmakers of both his generation and those following him. The eighties would see his career go from strength to strength, but what of his Cagliostro movie, a low budget cartoon originally meant to do little more than cash in on a popular TV show, and even then not satisfying contemporary fans because he tried to mould the format to something more appealing to his own sensibilities?

Obviously in light of what arrived later, this unassuming little adventure was the subject of far more scrutiny than it would have been otherwise, and since Miyazaki made it big such luminaries as Steven Spielberg were keen to praise it to the high heavens, yet actually it didn't quite bear the weight of the adulation brought to it. It was light and fun, and well rendered within its means, but couldn't really compare with what the director conjured up over the rest of his filmography, not that it wasn't entertaining, it's just that the plotline wasn't as captivating or imaginative as the very best of his work. So this more like a frothy trifle, with nice action sequences and a selection of elements you might see better applied later in his career.

The story proper gets going in the first ten minutes when Lupin and Jigen spot a young lady overtaking them on the highway to Cagliostro, which is apparently a tiny country in Europe whose most prominent feature is, you guessed it, the castle. Nothing unusual about being overtaken, you might think, but she is being hotly pursued by a car full of heavies trying to smash her off the road, and Lupin, feeling gallant, opts to stop the bad guys in their tracks, something he does in an impressive action sequence which somewhat improbably sees him drive up a sheer cliff. But then, you'll have to get used to the hero pulling off incredible feats of physicality if you're going to get on with these shenanigans.

The damsel in distress is Clarisse (Sumi Shimamoto), who is due to be married to the evil Count much against her wishes, although Lupin gets to save her, hanging off a cliff (a different cliff) in the process, but also knocking himself out while she gets away to the castle, where she ends up held prisoner in a tower not unlike a fairy tale princess. While Lupin is a mercenary sort, this time around he's following his heart because he wants to save Clarisse from her potentially dreadful fate, though there's still a chance he can turn a profit should he get his hands on the supposed hidden treasure secreted around the castle. The building is almost a character in itself, full of contraptions and tricks which Lupin negotiates with aplomb, much as you'd expect from a gentleman thief and seasoned playboy, but it does grow predictable and close to monotonous after a while, with mainly the sparkly if slightly rough-edged animation sustaining the interest. But even Miyazaki had to start somewhere. Music by Yuji Ono.

[Studio Canal's subtitled Blu-ray looks excellent, with a storyboard and a trailer as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2328 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: