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 Information Section of the Japanese Navy, just after the success of this movie, approached Akira Kurosawa about making a film focusing on Zero fighter pilots. Due to budget issues at this stage in the war, he instead made Ichiban utsukushiku (1944). See more »
A movie which gets better as it goes along, this is essentially a story about judo matches and honor. The fight scenes are good, they have a good level of tension. You see some elements to Kurosawa's film making here, like pointing the camera up at the sky, that he has used to even greater effect since. There is a love story here too, in the character Cree's opponents daughter, Siu. My copy of this film left some to be desired, in that the subtitles are not perfect, and it is not a great transfer, but this film has been on IFC, and that is the more recommended way I suggest you see this film. Not perfect, but it holds your interest, and it is Kurosawa, which is enough of an endorsement to watch any film.
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