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Yojimbo (1961)

Yôjinbô (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 13 September 1961 (USA)
Clip
2:33 | Clip
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
4,308 ( 631)
Top Rated Movies #129 | 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 ... 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 ... Ushitora
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 'Yojimbo' theme song; composed by Masaru Sato, was used in Irish television advertisements for Murphy's Stout during the 1990's. The advertisement itself sees a band of samurai roaming rural Ireland. The ad was shot in black and white, and is itself an homage to the films of Akira Kurosawa. See more »

Goofs

In the initial fight scene, The Samurai cuts the first two adversaries in the mid-section, then slices the last man's arm off. That last man is first seen from behind holding the sword in his right arm above his head, but the arm holding the sword shown moments later is a left arm. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Farmer: Stop, you brat!
Traveler: Let me go, Father! This battle is the chance of a lifetime!
Farmer: Crazy fool! The chance to get killed! Why do you want to be a gambler? A farmer's place is in the fields.
Traveler: A long life of eating gruel - - to hell with that! I want good food and nice clothes. I'm gonna live it up and die young!
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Alternate Versions

The initial US release ran only 75 minutes, 35 minutes shorter than the original version at 110 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in When the Raven Flies (1984) See more »

User Reviews

For sheer entertainment value 'Yojimbo' is hard to beat! The Kurosawa movie I enjoy the most.
15 May 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

I'm not going to waste time debating which was the "greatest" or "best" of Kurosawa's movies, but if you want to know the one I enjoy the most it's 'Yojimbo'. 'Rashomon' and 'Throne Of Blood' are probably deeper and more substantial, but for sheer entertainment value 'Yojimbo' is hard to beat! Being a Kurosawa movie it's no surprise that it stars Toshiro Mifune. The two made many movies together, but this is the performance I like to watch the most. I love looking at Mifune's face! His expressions are awesome. He was without a doubt one of the 20th centuries greatest movie stars. 'Yojimbo' was a massive influence on many spaghetti westerns, specifically 'A Fistful Of Dollars', but before you bay for Sergio Leone's blood, please read Dashiell Hammett's detective classic 'Red Harvest', published in 1929 and you'll see that Kurosawa lifted his plot from it. I see no mention whatsoever of this source material in the credits for 'Yojimbo', so let's just leave the Leone bashing alone okay? Many people have convincingly argued that samurai movies were inspired by classic American westerns anyway. Walter Hill later "remade" 'Yojimbo' (or 'Red Harvest' depending on your perspective) as 'Last Man Standing' and David Lynch gave a small nod to it in his 'Wild At Heart'. You can certainly see both the samurai and spaghetti influences in Tarantino's 'Kill Bill' 1 and 2, that's for sure. "Influences", "inspirations", these are things that go around and around, it's what a writer or film maker does with them that counts. 'Yojimbo' is a classic action movie. Maybe only 'Wages Of Fear' is better. Every film buff needs this movie in their collection!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,942, 28 July 2002

Gross USA:

$46,808

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,808
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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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