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.
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
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>
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 »
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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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 »
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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