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Yôjinbô
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Yojimbo (1961) More at IMDbPro »Yôjinbô (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
8.4/10   55,907 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Akira Kurosawa (story)
Akira Kurosawa (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Yojimbo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 September 1961 (USA) See more »
Plot:
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
"You don't mind if I kill all of you?" "What? Kill me if you can!" "It'll hurt." See more (143 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Toshirô Mifune ... Sanjuro Kuwabatake / The Samurai

Tatsuya Nakadai ... Unosuke - Gunfighter
Yôko Tsukasa ... Nui
Isuzu Yamada ... Orin
Daisuke Katô ... Inokichi - Ushitora's Rotund Brother
Seizaburô Kawazu ... Seibê - Brothel Operator

Takashi Shimura ... 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
Kô Nishimura ... Kuma
Takeshi Katô ... Ronin Kobuhachi
Ichirô Nakatani ... First Samurai
Sachio Sakai ... First Foot Soldier
Akira Tani ... Kame
Namigoro Rashomon ... Kannuki the Giant
Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Kohei
Gen Shimizu ... Magotaro
Yutaka Sada ... Matsukichi
Shin Ôtomo ... Kumosuke
Shôichi Hirose ... Ushitora Follower
Hideyo Amamoto ... Yahachi
Shôji Ôki ... Sukeju
Fuminori Ôhashi ... Second Samurai
Hiroshi Yoseyama ... Farmer
Senkichi Ômura ... Traveler
Noriko Honma ... Farmer's Ex-wife
Ryusuke Nishio ... Seibei Follower
Naoya Kusakawa ... Seibei Follower
Nadao Kirino ... Seibei Follower
Jun Ôtomo ... Seibei Follower
Shinpei Takagi ... Ushitora Follower
Akio Kusama ... Ushitora Follower
Yasuzô Ogawa ... Ushitora Follower
Hiroshi Takagi ... Ushitora Follower
Jun'ichirô Mukai ... Seibei Follower
Fumiyoshi Kamagaya ... Seibei Follower
Ichirô Chiba ... Second Foot Soldier
Haruya Sakamoto ... Ushitora Follower
Rinsaku Ogata ... Seibei Follower
Fumio Kogushi ... Ushitora Follower
Yoko Terui ... Woman at Seibei's House
Hiromi Mineoka ... Woman at Seibei's House
Michiko Kawa ... Woman at Seibei's House
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Takuzô Kumagai (as Jirô Kumagai)
Jerry Fujio ... Roku - Samurai Whose Arm Is Cut (uncredited)
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Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Writing credits
Akira Kurosawa (story)

Akira Kurosawa (screenplay) &
Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay)

Produced by
Ryûzô Kikushima .... executive producer
Akira Kurosawa .... producer
Tomoyuki Tanaka .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Masaru Satô 
 
Cinematography by
Kazuo Miyagawa 
 
Film Editing by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Production Design by
Yoshirô Muraki 
 
Costume Design by
Yoshirô Muraki 
 
Makeup Department
Yoshiko Matsumoto .... hair stylist
Junjirô Yamada .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Hiroshi Nezu .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masanobu Deme .... assistant director
Shirô Moritani .... chief assistant director
 
Art Department
Kôichi Hamamura .... property master
Yoshifumi Honda .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
Chôshichirô Mikami .... sound recordist
Ichirô Minawa .... sound effects editor
Masanobu Miyazaki .... sound mixer
Zen Shida .... assistant sound
Hisashi Shimonaga .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Masao Fukuda .... still photographer
Chôshirô Ishii .... lighting technician
Shôji Kaneko .... assistant lighting technician
Takao Saitô .... assistant camera
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Masahiro Katô .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Reiko Kaneko .... assistant editor
 
Transportation Department
Ginzo Osumi .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Hiroshi Kanesu .... choreographer
Ryû Kuze .... swordplay technique
Teruyo Nogami .... script supervisor
Yoshio Sugino .... swordplay instructor
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Yôjinbô" - Japan (original title)
"The Bodyguard" - International (English title) (literal title)
"Yojimbo the Bodyguard" - USA
See more »
Runtime:
110 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 | Netherlands:12 | New Zealand:M | Norway:16 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1993) | USA:Unrated | USA:TV-MA (cable rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: The 2AM meeting between the gangs was clearly filmed in broad daylight.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Farmer:[in Japanese] Wait, son.
Traveler:[in Japanese] Let me go, father. It's my chance.
See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Any recommendations for movies similar to "Yojimbo"?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Is this movie based on a book?
See more »
50 out of 54 people found the following review useful.
"You don't mind if I kill all of you?" "What? Kill me if you can!" "It'll hurt.", 24 December 2003
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo is a not too long, not too short action film that uses its action with just the right touches of voracity and excitement, and in the backdrop is also a sense of humor to the process. If I had to recommend a Kurosawa film to someone who's never seen one before (and might be impatient to sit through the three and a half hour Seven Samurai, or might not get the non-linear structure of Rashomon), I'd put this one in their hands to try out.

Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune is terrific as Sanjuro Kuwabatake, a drifter of a samurai who stumbles upon a town with an assorted cast of characters, with a split between two gangs. One of the gangsters, Unosuke (Nakadai), is the only one in town; it seems, with a gun. At first Sanjuro plays each side, but when he gets beaten roughly by whom he was "protecting", he realizes the fun's over, and it's time to fight back.

Much has been made about how Sergio Leone took Kurosawa's story and characters (most in particular being a rogue from out of town) and made them into his breakthrough Fistful of Dollars- Kurosawa even sued Leone over the story rights. But to those who wonder whether Yojimbo is 'better' than Fistful or vice versa need to remember one of two things- Kurosawa took the story from Dashiell Hammett's gangster novel Red Harvest, so neither filmmaker is making something really original; and that since each film is made in a different continent, and with the slightest different sensibilities about its characters. For one thing in Yojimbo guns are scarcer than in Fistful, and there's a treatment Kurosawa has with his actors that sets it apart from the small town western scope of Leone's weapons and actors. So each film (noticeably) carries its own kind of visual style while working in a similar plot structure. In other words, it's kind of like comparing apples and oranges picked in the same farm (if that makes at all sense).

Overall, Yojimbo on its own is a lean, cool Japanese crime/action film, helmed by a master, and featuring a number of highlights to look forward to on multiple viewings. Some of those include: the scene inside Seibei's brothel (with the women dancing and singing), Masaru Sato's wonderful musical orchestrations, Mifune's curiously low-key and rough performance (which did and didn't serve as inspiration to Clint), and a climax that is up there with one of Kurosawa's finest battles. A+

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