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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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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

The 2AM meeting between the gangs was clearly filmed in broad daylight. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Version of A Fistful of Dollars (1964) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Kurosawa's Influential Stroke Of Genius

Akira Kurosawa is widely (and rightly) thought of as one of the most important filmmakers in the history of motion pictures. "Yojimbo", one of the masterpieces that have earned him this more than deserved reputation, is not only one of the best, but also one of the most influential movies ever made. Only three years after its release another great director, Sergio Leone, who named Yojimbo one of his favorite movies, used it as the model for another masterpiece, "A Fistful Of Dollars" and rose the Italian Western to an international level.

In 1860, a time when the sword is still the most common weapon in the Japanese province, but gradually gets replaced by the revolver, a lonely Ronin, a Samurai without a master to serve,(Toshiro Mifune) who dashes around the county, comes to a little town terrorized by two bosses and their criminal gangs and decides to end the people's suffering and free the town. He is hired by one of the gangs as a bodyguard, only to switch sides and pit the two, already hostile, gangs against each other.

Toshiro Mifune, one of the greatest character actors of all time, is impressive in his role of the Samurai, generally the acting is great in this movie, the supporting cast contains such actors as the great and unforgettable Takashi Shimura. The cinematography is great and the movie's brilliant score, composed by Fumio Hayasaka, is one of its kind. The writing and directing by the inimitable Akira Kurosawa is more than brilliant. One of the greatest movies by one of the greatest directors of all-time, and an absolute must-see for everyone interested in cinema!


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