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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
All of the camellias used in the film were artificial and man-made. The leaves were real and taken from a Sakai plant. Every morning before shooting, the leaves were replaced to prevent them from looking old. 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 »
You're too sharp. That's your trouble. You're like a drawn sword. Sharp, naked without a sheath. You cut well. But good swords are kept in their sheaths.
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Sanjuro is not one of Kurosawa's great films, but it shows him relaxed and having fun, deconstructing the jidai-geki (samurai film) genre with tongue firmly in cheek.
The film lacks the meticulous visual style of Yojimbo, but it is very well photographed, with some extremely fluid cinematography and those effortlessly artful group compositions that only Kurosawa seems to be able to do. The plot is a little exposition-heavy, but it's always swift-moving and never comes close to taking itself seriously.
Watching Toshiro slice apart all those enemies in the various battle scenes with nary a bloodstain in sight, I did find myself wishing the folks at Toho had sprung for a few squibs. But all is set right in the brilliant final swordfight, which is worth the price of admission.
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