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Yojimbo (1961)

Yôjinbô (original title)
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Akira Kurosawa (story), Akira Kurosawa (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
4,912 ( 139)

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Top Rated Movies #115 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Sanjuro Kuwabatake / The Samurai
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Unosuke - Gunfighter
Yôko Tsukasa ... Nui
Isuzu Yamada ... Orin
Daisuke Katô Daisuke Katô ... Inokichi - Ushitora's Rotund Brother
Seizaburô Kawazu ... Seibê - Brothel Operator
Takashi Shimura ... Tokuemon - Sake Brewer
Hiroshi Tachikawa Hiroshi Tachikawa ... Yoichiro
Yôsuke Natsuki Yôsuke Natsuki ... Kohei's Son
Eijirô Tôno ... Gonji - Tavern Keeper
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Tazaemon
Ikio Sawamura Ikio Sawamura ... Hansuke
Atsushi Watanabe Atsushi Watanabe ... The Cooper - Coffin-Maker
Susumu Fujita Susumu Fujita ... Homma - Instructor Who Skips Town
Kyû Sazanka Kyû Sazanka ... Ushitora
Edit

Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Better if all these men were dead. Think about it! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

13 September 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yojimbo See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fact that the main villain sports a gun shows the slow creep of Westernization and pitches the film as roughly taking place in the 1860s. It was around about this time that the USA started forcing Japan to come out of its isolationist policy that had effectively kept the country stalled in a feudal, almost medieval society. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Farmer: [in Japanese] Wait, son.
Traveler: [in Japanese] Let me go, father. It's my chance.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some US releases add English credits, titling the film YOJIMBO - THE BODYGUARD, as well as a brief text prologue explaining the time period the film takes place in. This text comes on right after Kurosawa's directing credit. See more »

Connections

Remade as Omega Doom (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Great movie with one cool character
28 October 2002 | by InzyWimzySee all my reviews

I just figured out why Toshirô Mifune is so mesmerizing to watch. It's just the way he expresses himself. This guy's amazing!

I've been exploring the halls of Kurosawa and it's getting hard to leave. Yojimbo is a FUN film to watch. Toshiro as the samurai steals almost every scene he is in and I think the epitome of his character is when he's in Gonji's place lying on the floor. He doesn't brag, but when he goes into action, that's it! As soon as he enters the chaotic town, he doesn't seem fazed at all and actually enjoys it. His demeanor is really amusing and it's great watching his plan unfold; how he manipulates both groups to get his way (it's really funny). Great thing too is he's not really a hero and he's not entirely a villain. He doesn't hesitate to kill, but does so methodically. You also have "characters" including Gonji, the thugs from both sides, and Unosuke with an ace up his sleeve (or robe?) which makes things really interesting.

Yojimbo's mix of dark humor, action, and a great performance from Mifune make for a Kurosawa classic.


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