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Sanjuro (1962)
"Tsubaki Sanjûrô" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  7 May 1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 18,549 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 62 critic

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



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hanbei Muroto
Keiju Kobayashi ...
The Spy
Yûzô Kayama ...
Iori Izaka
Reiko Dan ...
Chidori, Mutsuta's daughter
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Takako Irie ...
Mutsuta's wife
Masao Shimizu ...
Yûnosuke Itô ...
Mutsuta, the Chamberlain
Akira Kubo ...
Hiroshi Tachikawa ...
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Kunie Tanaka ...
Tatsuyoshi Ehara ...


A group of idealistic young men, determined to clean up the corruption in their town, are aided by a scruffy, cynical samurai who does not at all fit their concept of a noble warrior. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 May 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sanjuro  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


For the first time, Akira Kurosawa himself appeared in the trailer for one of his films, showing him in a scene on set rehearsing with the cast. See more »


When the Chamberlain's nephew goes to peek over the wall to check if Kikui's house is full of troops, he supports himself on the wall which bends slightly, belying its supposed sturdiness. See more »


Sanjûrô Tsubaki: You tired of being stupid yet?
See more »


Follows Yojimbo (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent - Superb - A Masterpiece

Akira Kurosawa is probably the best Director in the entire History of film-making. He has not been that prolific given the amount of time he has spent making films, but many of these have subsequently been remade - Seven Samurai became the magnificent seven. Yoijimbo (the prequel to this one) became A fistful of dollars - and more recently last man standing. The hidden Fortress became Star Wars. Sanjuro marked the return of Toshiro Mifune as the Sardonic Ronin from Yoijimbo. Yet again, the photography is excellent - the period costumes and buildings beautiful to look at even in black and white. From one of the first scenes, in the grounds outside the Shrine, Mifune shows a 500% improvement in the art of Kenjutso - he must have been practicing night and day! But it is the character of Sanjuro itself that makes the film so absorbing. He is on the surface, a dirty, disrespectful abrasive man - but his deeds portray him as a hero - someone who once was a shining example of a Samurai and despite being put through the ringer still holds to a deeply rooted code of honor. When this shows however, he is most anxious to cover it up again..... The film involves a power struggle within a small city in Japan between the old faction and the new power-hungry one. It deals with false perceptions and truth. Two of the tenets that are at the heart of Kurosawa's films. This is a Gem - rent it - if you can, Buy it!

37 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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