Two sisters, one a dancer and the other a script supervisor at a big movie studio, become embroiled in union activities when a strike is called in sympathy with striking railroad workers, ... See full summary »
Sanshiro, a strong stubborn youth, comes to the city to apprentice at a jujitsu school. His first night, he sees Yano in action, a master of judo, a more spiritual art, and he begs to be Yano's student. As the youth learns technique, he must also learn "satori," the calm acceptance of Nature's law. If he can balance strength and control, then judo may become the training regimen for the city's police, Sanshiro can gain respect from an old teacher in a jujitsu school, and he can win the hand of Sayo, that teacher's daughter, who is also sought by jujitsu's finest master, the implacable Higaki, who vows to kill Sanshiro in a midnight fight on a windswept mountainside.Written by
The book "Sanshiro Sugata," from which the movie was based, was written by Tsuneo Tomita who at the time of the book release was a 38 year old judo master turned novelist. The Sanshiro character was sculpted around Tsueno's teacher and celebrated judo expert Shiro Saigo (1866-1922). See more »
Although originally released in Japan at 97 minutes, it was re-edited and re-released in Japan in 1952 at 80 minutes. This 80-minute version is all that is currently available, and it includes some slight changes in the film's structure as well as its running time. See more »
There were many reasons I was unimpressed by this film, though one had was certainly not the fault of anyone connected with the movie. Because this and its sequel are rarely seen, they are hard to come by. I finally found them as an import from MEI AH Laser Disc Company--and boy did THAT leave a lot to be desired. The quality of the print was very poor (though MUCH worse on the sequel) and the captioning was beyond abominable! When my daughter saw part of it, she immediately recognized the problem. It seems that many Japanese movies are released by Chinese companies, so the movie is translated from Japanese to Chinese and finally to English--and so much was lost in the translation it practically ruined the experience. For example, "JUDO" is translated as either "Karate" or "Kung Fu" in the movie. If you don't know much about martial arts, there is a world of difference between them. For two movies about Judo, the word NEVER appears in the subtitled version! Also, countless sentences simply make no sense--it's as if the words are almost random at times.
Now, as far as the movie itself goes, this is a purely ordinary film with very little of the magic of later Kurasawa films. It is a not particularly involving movie about a judo master. Some of the cinematography and acting is very good and at other times it isn't--it's obvious Kurasawa is still learning his craft. Also, part one is ruined by the fact that part two is a worse film in most ways-- so the viewer never really gets a payoff for seeing the conclusion.
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