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Yôjinbô (1961)

 -  Action | Drama  -  13 September 1961 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 59,056 users  
Reviews: 144 user | 132 critic

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Yôjinbô (1961)

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Top 250 #107 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Unosuke - Gunfighter
Yôko Tsukasa ...
Nui
Isuzu Yamada ...
Orin
Daisuke Katô ...
Inokichi - Ushitora's Rotund Brother
Seizaburô Kawazu ...
Seibê - Brothel Operator
...
Tokuemon - Sake Brewer
Hiroshi Tachikawa ...
Yoichiro
Yôsuke Natsuki ...
Kohei's Son
Eijirô Tôno ...
Gonji - Tavern Keeper
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Tazaemon
Ikio Sawamura ...
Hansuke
Atsushi Watanabe ...
The Cooper - Coffin-Maker
Susumu Fujita ...
Homma - Instructor Who Skips Town
Kyû Sazanka ...
Ushitora
Edit

Storyline

Sanjuro, a wandering samurai enters a rural town in nineteenth century Japan. After learning from the innkeeper that the town is divided between two gangsters, he plays one side off against the other. His efforts are complicated by the arrival of the wily Unosuke, the son of one of the gangsters, who owns a revolver. Unosuke has Sanjuro beaten after he reunites an abducted woman with her husband and son, then massacres his father's opponents. During the slaughter, the samurai escapes with the help of the innkeeper; but while recuperating at a nearby temple, he learns of innkeeper's abduction by Unosuke, and returns to the town to confront him. Written by Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yojimbo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa asked his sound engineer 'Ichiro Minawa' to come up with a sound effect to be used when a sword is cutting, and killing, someone. After testing out slicing a sword into beef and pork, he finally found the perfect sample; putting two wooden chopsticks inside a raw chicken, then hacking it with a sword. See more »

Goofs

In the initial fight scene The Samurai cuts the first two adversaries in the mid-section, then slices the last man's arm off. That last man is first seen from behind holding the sword in his right arm above his head, but the arm holding the sword shown moments later is a left arm. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Farmer: [in Japanese] Wait, son.
Traveler: [in Japanese] Let me go, father. It's my chance.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beantown (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

For sheer entertainment value 'Yojimbo' is hard to beat! The Kurosawa movie I enjoy the most.
15 May 2004 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm not going to waste time debating which was the "greatest" or "best" of Kurosawa's movies, but if you want to know the one I enjoy the most it's 'Yojimbo'. 'Rashomon' and 'Throne Of Blood' are probably deeper and more substantial, but for sheer entertainment value 'Yojimbo' is hard to beat! Being a Kurosawa movie it's no surprise that it stars Toshiro Mifune. The two made many movies together, but this is the performance I like to watch the most. I love looking at Mifune's face! His expressions are awesome. He was without a doubt one of the 20th centuries greatest movie stars. 'Yojimbo' was a massive influence on many spaghetti westerns, specifically 'A Fistful Of Dollars', but before you bay for Sergio Leone's blood, please read Dashiell Hammett's detective classic 'Red Harvest', published in 1929 and you'll see that Kurosawa lifted his plot from it. I see no mention whatsoever of this source material in the credits for 'Yojimbo', so let's just leave the Leone bashing alone okay? Many people have convincingly argued that samurai movies were inspired by classic American westerns anyway. Walter Hill later "remade" 'Yojimbo' (or 'Red Harvest' depending on your perspective) as 'Last Man Standing' and David Lynch gave a small nod to it in his 'Wild At Heart'. You can certainly see both the samurai and spaghetti influences in Tarantino's 'Kill Bill' 1 and 2, that's for sure. "Influences", "inspirations", these are things that go around and around, it's what a writer or film maker does with them that counts. 'Yojimbo' is a classic action movie. Maybe only 'Wages Of Fear' is better. Every film buff needs this movie in their collection!


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