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The Castle of Cagliostro (1979) Review

Updated on January 24, 2018
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Joseph Lawrence (25) grew up in the New York area and is a recent college grad in Film Studies. He is a huge film buff and loves horror!

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro
Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro

What is Lupin the Third?

As a television series, Lupin the III is known for its comedy, drama and adventure. The man himself, is a master thief, marksman, and masquerader. The Castle of Cagliostro is the second film in the series and Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyuzaki's feature film debut. Arsène Lupin III is the best at what he does and is second to known. Together with his colleague and partner in crime Daisuke Jigen, they steal and commit burglaries in order to support their criminal lifestyle. And his lax attitude and easily amused persona makes him a joy to watch.

What is the Castle of Cagliostro about?

The Castle of Cagliostro starts after Lupin succeeds in stealing money that he soon discovers to be counterfeit. After tracking down the source of the money, he comes across the heavily aristocratic country of Cagliostro. Soon after, he comes across a princess. The events that follow, will require Wolf (Lupin the III) to call his allies and team up with long-time rival Inspector Zenigata in order to foil the Cagliostro counterfeit ring. All while saving the princess from an ill-fated marriage.

Lupin the III and the princess.
Lupin the III and the princess.

How's the movie?

Immediately noticeable is the film's music opening which is a nice mixture of melancholy and peace. It mirrors the dramatic moments to come. However, this is also a comedy and so the film at times easily resembles a cartoon. There are "boing" sounds as Lupin hops over obstacles, enemies that are impervious to bullets, and an antagonist who is over-the-top obsessed with power. The movie also has "real-life" issues featured inside it's plot which range from arranged marriages to corrupt religious and royal officials.

Anything else I should know?

While I did my best to convey how awesome this film is, here are some pro's and con's which easily lists the good and the bad:

Pro's

  • Great soundtrack
  • Good animation
  • Real-life history meshed with fiction
  • Good Dub

Con's

  • Characters unfamiliar for newcomers to the series
  • Aristocratic and historical plot-line may not be interesting to most

Lupin the III and Daisuke as they escape.
Lupin the III and Daisuke as they escape.

The Castle of Cagliostro

This movie is great starting point into the Lupin the III series. Like a good adventure? Give The Castle of Cagliostro a watch. With a run time of 100 minutes, you can catch Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro on DVD and Blu-ray.

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