Arts Movies

The Castle of Cagliostro

The Castle of Cagliostro

The Castle of Cagliostro or Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro (Rupan Sansei: Kariosutoro no Shiro / ルパン三世 カリオストロの城) is a Japanese animated adventure comedy movie.  It was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.  Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS Entertainment) produced and released the film in 1979.  The Castle of Cagliostro did not perform well at the box office.  It did receive critical praise and has since become the most popular adaptation in the Lupin III franchise.

The night is dark.  Daisuke Jigen and Arsène Lupin III escape from the Monte Carlo Casino.  The heist is successful.  The protagonists review their spoils.  The cash is counterfeit.  The two throw the fabled Goat bills from their car.  Lupin has an idea.  They will go to the source of the fake money where no outsider has returned.

The heroes enter through the Cagliostro checkpoint.  They toss their disguises and drive on.  The car pulls over due to a flat tire.  The boys take in the countryside and smell the air.  They are pleased.  A car rushes past them and then… a second.  The first is driven by a woman.  The second automobile is filled with thugs.  They are not pleased.  A chase begins.

lupin and jigen
Lupin and Jigen in pursuit – Photo Credit: StarLightSuperNova

The cars wind through the narrow mountain road.  Daisuke shoots at the villain’s tires.  They are bulletproof.  The thugs return the favor by lobbing grenades.  Lupin takes a shortcut as they load their guns with armor piercing bullets.  The ammunition works.  The girl faints behind the wheel.  Lupin jumps into her car.  They crash before he can stop it.  He saves them both by lowering them into water. The effort knocks him unconscious.  Clarisse tends to his injuries as a boat approaches their position.  She flees down the shore and leaves behind a glove.  Lupin comes to and finds a ring inside the glove with the insignia of a goat.

Jigen and Lupin drive in silence.  They stop at a decrepit castle that is marked with the same crest as the ring.  The two rest and Lupin tells a story from the past.  Night falls and they go to an inn to eat.  Assassins arrive and the two extinguish the lights.  Gunfire is exchanged and there is an explosion.  The good guys escape down the city streets.  Lupin leaves his calling card that proclaims he is going to steal back Clarisse.

The samurai Goemon Ishikawa XIII is summoned.  Lupin reveals his location to the Chief Inspector Koichi Zenigata and moves into the castle. The thief is disguised as the inspector.  Zenigata arrives and gets lost in the catacombs.  Arsène meets his lover Fujiko Mine.  They share words and separate.  The disguised reaches Clarisse and returns her ring.  He promises to help her escape from her plight.  The Count Lazare de Cagliostro confronts them and Lupin is sent through a hidden trapdoor into the catacombs.  He recovers the ring. 

the count
The Count and a beautiful mustache – Photo Credit: StarLightNova

The ring is a fake.  The count is furious.  He is not down for the count and pushes the idiom from his mind.  A triumvirate of assassins is activated in response.  Lupin crosses paths with the Inspector and they form a truce.  The new alliance subdues their pursuers and stumble upon the counterfeit printing presses.  There is no time to collect evidence and they start a fire to escape.  Lupin steals a helicopter and flies towards Clarisse.

He is shot down and injured.  Clarisse gives the ring to the Count in exchange for the hero’s life.  She is double crossed, but Fujiko parlays the situation and the gang escapes.  Arsène convalesces.  Zenigata visits his bosses at Interpol to prosecute the Count.  The reach of the antagonist is too wide.  The inspector is removed from the case.  Lupin and the crew take matters into their own hands and form a plan.  The scheme is to reveal the Count’s nefarious activities by chasing Lupin.  It begins.

Lupin sneaks inside The Castle of Cagliostro.  The Count and Clarisse are in the middle of their wedding.  Big Lup interrupts the ceremony and saves the girl and the rings.  Fujiko and the Inspector pose as a television crew.  The Count corners Lupin and Clarisse in the castle’s clock tower.  The rings are substituted for their lives.  They are betrayed again and plummet into the lake below.

lupin and clarisse
Lupin and Clarisse – Photo Credit: StarLightNova

The Count activates a hidden mechanism in the tower with the rings.  The clock hands move in a sporadic fashion and crush him.  The lake drains and ancient Roman ruins push into the open air.  The true Cagliostro treasure is discovered.  Clarisse expresses her love and begs Lupin to stay.  The rogue hero turns her down and she offers to become a thief.  He says she needs to rule.  She agrees.  Fujiko and Lupin steal the counterfeit plates from the presses and abscond with the reliable Jigen.  The truce ends with Zenigata and so does the The Castle of Cagliostro.

The Castle of Cagliostro Cast

Arsène Lupin III Yasuo Yamada David Hayter
Chief Inspector Koichi Zenigata Gorō Naya Kevin Seymour
Count Lazare de Cagliostro Tarō Ishida Kirk Thronton
Daisuke Jigen Kiyoshi Kobayashi John Snyder
Fujiko Mine Eiko Masuyama Dorthy Elias-Fahn
Gendarme Captain Gustav Tadamichi Tsuneizumi Joe Romersa
Goemon Ishikawa XIII Makio Inoue Michael Gregory
Interpol Chairman Shouzou HirabayashiPeter Spellos
Jodot Ichirō Nagai Milton James
Lady Clarisse de Cagliostro Sumi Shimamoto Bridget Hoffman
The Castle of Cagliostro
The Castle of Cagliostro film poster – Photo Credit: SeichanGrey

2 comments on “The Castle of Cagliostro

  1. Yes! It’s been a while.. but this was such an entertaining one!

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