Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
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 <email@example.com>
This movie was originally going to be a faithful adaption of a Shûgorô Yamamoto novel called Peaceful Days, and was going to be made before Yojimbo (1961), which is about a group of nine samurai who are helped out by two ronin who are inadequate fighters and have to use there wits to trick two evil opposing sides into disposing of each other. The antagonists was changed to a corrupt government body and the tricking two opposing sides into fighting each over element was used for Yojimbo. After Yojimbo was a success Toho requested that Akira Kurosawa produce a sequel. He changed the two weak ronin to the powerful Sanjuro character and rewrote the script to match the tone of Yojimbo. Also when this was going to be Peaceful Days, Kurosawa was only going to write it and Hiromichi Horikawa (Kurosawa's assistant director) was going to direct it and Furankî Sakai and Keiju Kobayashi were to play the two ronin. 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 »
Among the Most Entertaining of Kurosawa's or Mifune's Movies
Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune combined their abilities in numerous fine movies, and while "Sanjuro", for its part, is lighter than most of the others, it is certainly one of the most entertaining of the movies that either of the two has made. Mifune gets a role that allows him to get many good moments, and it's also a role that he must have enjoyed playing.
The story is quite interesting, with many good turns and a way of keeping you guessing as to what will happen next. Mifune plays a samurai who takes it upon himself to try to save a rather hapless but nevertheless worthy clan from government conspiracy and from its own foolishness. It's a role that gives him both plenty of good lines and plenty of good action sequences. Kurosawa, of course, knows just how to get the most out of all of the material, and the story also provides some interesting psychological insights on the characters.
The settings are very good, and they are often used in creative ways in telling the story. Except for Mifune's character, most of the other characters are fairly one-dimensional, but they are believable, and they also allow plenty of room for Mifune to get the most out of each of his scenes. The result is a very enjoyable and well-crafted movie.
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