Sanshiro, a strong stubborn youth, comes to the city to apprentice at a jujitsu school. His first night, he sees Yano in action, a master of judo, a more spiritual art, and he begs to be Yano's student. As the youth learns technique, he must also learn "satori," the calm acceptance of Nature's law. If he can balance strength and control, then judo may become the training regimen for the city's police, Sanshiro can gain respect from an old teacher in a jujitsu school, and he can win the hand of Sayo, that teacher's daughter, who is also sought by jujitsu's finest master, the implacable Higaki, who vows to kill Sanshiro in a midnight fight on a windswept mountainside. Written by
The climactic fight scene was originally planned to be filmed on a staged set with painted clouds and large wind fans. Akira Kurosawa, unhappy with the look, got permission from the studio for three more outdoor location days. Day three delivered the huge windstorm used in the final footage. See more »
This film was Kurasawa's big splash. The story based on the legends of Shiro Sakata, Jigoro Kano's (the founder of Kodokan Judo) bad boy is told with the art that only Kurasawa could muster. Fantastic camera work, tense and controlled action and done when Japan was losing the war. The film was competently remade in the early 60's with Mifune and Koyama. But, Koyama could not capture the simple intensity of Fujita in the original title role. A great monument to one of the greatest directors of all times, this film must be seen more than once to be thoroughly enjoyed.
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