A wandering samurai, Sanjuro, is drawn into local politics. The Superintendent of a clan is plotting to take over the clan by implicating the Chamberlain in corrupt activities (activities the Superintendent is actually responsible for). Part of the plan involves killing off the Chamberlain's staff and, in protecting them, Sanjuro sides with them. The supporters are massively outnumbered so it will require all of Sanjuro's cunning and swordcraft to ensure the Superintendent does not succeed in his evil plan.Written by
The three enemies who surrender are kept in a room with chicken wire / poultry mesh stretched across the door. This was invented in England in 1844 and did not exist in the era or place depicted in the film. See more »
Everything in that notice was a bald-faced lie. Superintendent Kikui is the rotten one.
But you're his...
Retainer. Like attracts like. I'm rotten too. You see, Chamberlain Mutsuta is a shrewd character. Not easy to break. But with him out of the way, this clan is ours for the taking. Kikui is cunning but not a commanding presence. He pushes Mutsuta out of the way...
And you and I eat him up.
Precisely. I'll take you to him now. But remember: He has an inflated view of himself, so...
Stroke his ego ...
[...] See more »
With a near clean lineup of masterpieces under his belt, nobody could fault Kurosawa for wanting to make a simple piece of entertainment. This simple aspiration did not stop him from making another hugely influential success.
Sanjuro is a loose sequel to the classic Yojimbo. The character is back, as is, confusingly, Tatsuya Nakadai as a completely different character. The landscape and tone are entirely new, lighter, jollier. It is almost a spoof of its predecessor,as Mifune's nonchalant and perpetually unwashed antihero helps a group of goody- two-shoes samurai save their framed master. This is also the first on-screen collaboration between Toshiro Mifune and the young Yuzo Kayama, before they costared to such memorable effect on Redbeard.
Nobody spoofs Kurosawa better than the man himself: this is without a doubt his funniest film, yet he never treats it as a second-class product. No slouch, the director peppers this light romp with unforgettable visual flourishes, enraptured homages to the American Westerns that so inspired him, and an end-note of surprising violence, the likes of which Tarantino could only dream of.
At a fast-paced 96 minutes, this is probably a great entry point into the cinema of Akira Kurosawa, and a film that would be much more highly regarded had it not come from such an established filmmaker.
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