8.1/10
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88 user 63 critic

Sanjuro (1962)

Tsubaki Sanjuro (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Comedy, Crime | 7 May 1963 (USA)
A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen trying to save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay), Hideo Oguni (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Sanjûrô Tsubaki / The Samurai
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Hanbei Muroto
Keiju Kobayashi Keiju Kobayashi ... The Spy
Yûzô Kayama ... Iori Izaka
Reiko Dan ... Chidori, Mutsuta's daughter
Takashi Shimura ... Kurofuji
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Takebayashi
Takako Irie ... Mutsuta's wife
Masao Shimizu ... Kikui
Yûnosuke Itô ... Mutsuta, the Chamberlain
Akira Kubo Akira Kubo ... Samurai
Hiroshi Tachikawa Hiroshi Tachikawa ... Samurai
Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Samurai
Kunie Tanaka ... Samurai
Tatsuyoshi Ehara Tatsuyoshi Ehara ... Samurai
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Storyline

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 grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A fast sword, keen perception used well to SLAUGHTER HIS ENEMIES See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The black and white samurai films of Akira Kurosawa leave the impression on modern audiences that they are ancient. In fact, Sanjuro was released the same year as the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962), as well as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and How the West Was Won (1962). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Hanbei Muroto: Everything in that notice was a bald-faced lie. Superintendent Kikui is the rotten one.
Sanjûrô Tsubaki: But you're his...
Hanbei Muroto: 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...
Sanjûrô Tsubaki: And you and I eat him up.
Hanbei Muroto: Precisely. I'll take you to him now. But remember: He has an inflated view of himself, so...
Sanjûrô Tsubaki: Stroke his ego ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Kurosawa Plays Himself.
21 June 2002 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

7 May 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sanjuro See more »

Filming Locations:

Toho Studios, Tokyo, Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,942, 28 July 2002

Gross USA:

$46,808

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,528
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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