Up 73 this week

Yojimbo (1961)
"Yôjinbô" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  13 September 1961 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.3/10 from 67,116 users  
Reviews: 155 user | 135 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.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 29 Jun 2011
a list of 25 titles
created 26 Mar 2012
a list of 41 titles
created 06 May 2013
a list of 41 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 33 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Yojimbo" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Yojimbo (1961)

Yojimbo (1961) on IMDb 8.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Yojimbo.

User Polls

Top Rated Movies #108 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sanjuro (1962)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi
Rashomon (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori
Ran (1985)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An elderly lord abdicates to his three sons, and the two corrupt ones turn against him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki
Kagemusha (1980)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara
High and Low (1963)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai
Red Beard (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In 19th century Japan, a rough tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yûzô Kayama, Tsutomu Yamazaki
The Third Man (1949)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot


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


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




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yojimbo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Akira Kurosawa told Toshirô Mifune that his character was like a wolf or a dog and told Tatsuya Nakadai that his character was like a snake. Inspired by this direction, Mifune came up with Sanjuro's trademark shoulder twitch, similar to the way a dog or wolf tries to get off fleas. See more »


The interval between the noise of the gunshot, and the ringing of bell is too long. See more »


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


Referenced in Fallout: New Vegas (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

First class samurai action tale with philosophy to boot
9 November 2002 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

Classic samurai action pic; often imitated but never equalled. Mifune creates a memorable character (who appeared in a sequel) in the Ronin who decides the course of his life on the toss of a stick, and ends up risking his life to save a village full of peasants he finds revolting. It's possible to see "Yojimbo's" actions as either heroic or as the game of a bored warrior in need of amusement -- as often in Kurosawa's films, the fact that the characters' motives remain open to interpretation adds depth to the film.

Wonderful images, and skillful direction that keeps the pace of the storytelling tight and tells most of the story through images -- this is the kind of film that is so good it can be watched a silent film without losing too much of its impact or meaning.

I think that if Kurosawa had spent more of his time in litigation and less making movies, he might have made a living for the rest of his life off all the movies that have ripped off this movie. Certainly Eastwood's "Man with No Name" character owes a lot to Mifune's contribution; not only in Leone's films (the first of which borrows its entire plot from Kurosawa; a court settlement ensued which made sure Kurosawa made most of the profits from "Fistful of Dollars" in Asia his own) but also in Eastwood's best film as a director -- "High Plains Drifter", which borrows scenes such as Eastwood's rebuke of the villagers from "Yojimbo".

The really funny thing about all this, and what not too many American critics or audiences have noted, is that "Yojimbo" is itself a western. All the ingredients for a western are here, and the film's plot and style obviously owe a debt to Zinnemann's "High Noon". "Yojimbo" even borrows the device of time, setting up a confrontation at 3:00 a.m. as shouted by the town crier. I like "Yojimbo" better than "High Noon", so I don't want to go too far into this line of thought....

63 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What's your favourite Kurosawa? jon-larsen
Criterion for only $1.99 RolandtheSilver
Would a 15-year old enjoy this? faulknerfan123
Kurosawa vs Leone..yes, again.... MudFlapp
Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest collegeofuselessknowlege
List of films that use this plotline? YnEoS
Discuss Yojimbo (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: