Fifth film in the Lone Wolf & Cub Series. 5 warriors challenge Ogami to duels. Each has 1/5th of Ogami's assassin fee and 1/5 of the information he needs to complete his assassination. His ... See full summary »
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 Frankie 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 »
That must be what this film was when it came out. Yet comparisons between it and Yojimbo (Sanjuro being the sequel) often get it a bit wrong and tend to regard Sanjuro as better. Yes and no. It's a bit like comparing Die Hard and Die Hard with Avengeance, the third film is bigger, funnier, faster... but the first installment is darker and more original. Same with these two: Kurosowa's Yojimbo is dark and has a message and some depth (more than Sanjuro), but Sanjuro is more fun and has a faster pace. It isn't Kurosowa's finest hour, but may be one of his best attempts at lightweight crowd-pleasing (though still bearing lots of quality!) and much closer to great Hollywood capers that inspired him (John Ford was his idol!). Mifune is on top form, yet again, as the reluctant nonchalant samurai/manipulator Sanjuro, and layers his performance with a subtly comical aspect. Probably the best film of Kurosowa's oeuvre to watch first if you've never seen any of his films with Mifune (it has a short running time [96min] and flows smoothly). See what I mean? Yeah you! Well then get moving: go out there and see what all the fuss is about!!!
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