In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
Sanjuro, a wandering samurai enters a rural town in nineteenth century Japan. After learning from the innkeeper that the town is divided between two gangsters, he plays one side off against the other. His efforts are complicated by the arrival of the wily Unosuke, the son of one of the gangsters, who owns a revolver. Unosuke has Sanjuro beaten after he reunites an abducted woman with her husband and son, then massacres his father's opponents. During the slaughter, the samurai escapes with the help of the innkeeper; but while recuperating at a nearby temple, he learns of innkeeper's abduction by Unosuke, and returns to the town to confront him.Written by
Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>
Yojimbo was an obvious inspiration for Sergio Leone's classic For a Fistful of Dollars (1964) although it was not credited as the source material for the film. Walter Hill however also remade Yojimbo years later as Last Man Standing (1996) starring Bruce Willis, and credited Kurosawa's film as the original source. All three films follow a very similar plot although each takes place in a far different setting and time in human history. See more »
When Sanjuro practices throwing the knife at a leaf, the wire on the knife is clearly visible (the scene was filmed backwards; the knife was actually pulled off the leaf by the wire). See more »
Let me go, father. It's my chance.
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The initial US release ran only 75 minutes, 35 minutes shorter than the original version at 110 minutes. See more »
If I had to choose only one movie for film students to learn from, this would be it. Other films may be more profound, or their imagery more groundbreaking, but this one is so tightly constructed that nothing - not a frame, word, or gesture - is extraneous.
Toshiro Mifune, one of the world's most charismatic actors, is perfection as a tough loner of a samurai who takes it upon himself to clean up a town corrupted by two gambling clans. Swirling through and around him is a story that is both technically flawless and profoundly moving.
Kurosawa meticulously infuses every detail with meaning; there's a purpose behind every shot, and aspiring directors should pay close attention (why is the camera slightly tilted? why are there concubines in the background?). His economy of style was never more amazing; watch as the samurai rides into town, and the director establishes the atmosphere with exactly one jaw-dropping shot. And the story is equally well-crafted, with no plot holes and no inconsistencies.
A wonderful tale that rolls beautifully from start to finish. See it, see it, see it!!
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