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Sanjuro (1962)

Tsubaki Sanjûrô (original title)
Not Rated | | Action , Crime , Drama | 7 May 1963 (USA)
A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Ryûzô Kikushima (screenplay), Hideo Oguni (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Sanjûrô Tsubaki / The Samurai
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Hanbei Muroto
Keiju Kobayashi Keiju Kobayashi ... The Spy
Yûzô Kayama ... Iori Izaka
Reiko Dan Reiko Dan ... Chidori, Mutsuta's daughter
Takashi Shimura ... Kurofuji
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Takebayashi
Takako Irie Takako Irie ... Mutsuta's wife
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Kikui
Yûnosuke Itô Yûnosuke Itô ... Mutsuta, the Chamberlain
Akira Kubo Akira Kubo ... Samurai
Hiroshi Tachikawa Hiroshi Tachikawa ... Samurai
Yoshio Tsuchiya Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Samurai
Kunie Tanaka ... Samurai
Tatsuyoshi Ehara Tatsuyoshi Ehara ... Samurai
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Storyline

A wandering samurai, Sanjuro, is drawn into local politics. The Superintendent of a clan is plotting to take over the clan by implicating the Chamberlain in corrupt activities (activities the Superintendent is actually responsible for). Part of the plan involves killing off the Chamberlain's staff and, in protecting them, Sanjuro sides with them. The supporters are massively outnumbered so it will require all of Sanjuro's cunning and swordcraft to ensure the Superintendent does not succeed in his evil plan. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Akira Kurosawa's Powerful and Newest Japanese Masterpiece See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

7 May 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sanjuro See more »

Filming Locations:

Toho Studios, Tokyo, Japan

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

In 1965, it was announced that Anthony Quinn would star in a remake of " Sanjuro " with David Swift directing and Larry Cohen scripting. See more »

Quotes

Mutsuta's wife: Killing people is a bad habit.
See more »

Connections

Version of Tsubaki Sanjûrô (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Physchology of leadership, the senselessness of war
27 August 2002 | by krasikSee all my reviews

Leadership. Sanjuro is able to lead men because he appears confident, and is confident. His presence subjugates men, as a man's presence subjugates boys. We see here how a group comes to have a leader. First one man stands out against him, the competitor for leadership, but Sanjuro's intuition and actions put him ahead. There is a beautiful marked difference between Sanjuro and the men. He is the lazy quiet tiger, seemingly passive yet containing an immense power - a tightly drawn bow. The men are barking puppies, energy spilling over, but to no good end.

Kurosawa presents a couple challenges to the viewer. THere is a terrible absurdity in the killing of all these men, for it becomes quiet clear with the symbol of the prisoner, that the average soldier is a frightened herd animal, not good or evil, but cowardly. Sanjuro recognizes this but has no choice, for he wants to live, and so must kill. Thus he must even kill the young men who he helps, when they foolishly come after him. The prisoner is won over by the old lady - so we see an almost christian ethic. In the tensions of the film one feels that the people, riled up by lies to fight for the enemy, quickly become targets of the just young men's swords - luckily it does not come to this, but one recognizes the horrible possibility and inevitability of such a struggle. Thus we are faced with a critic of war - men, scared like cattle battle under the flag of corrupt leaders, and those that may love them must kill them, if they are not to die by sword, or become slaves to tyrants.

"stupid friends are worse than enemies" For you know who your enemies are, and that they wish to destroy you.

In Sanjuro we also see the soldier, so long in battle that he is unable to live a normal life. He can not wear the house kimoto, he is to bound up in fighting - he is samuri, warrior, and he cannot escape this, much as Achilles cannot return home to Pthia. And we sense Sanjuro must whilt in the easy domestic life, for his is the road of struggle. The pleasant scent of the straw in the barn, the pretty camillias are still able to touch him, but he cannot enjoy them; he is a soldier, and therefore his sensitivities must yeild to the demands of war.

We see only one man worthy standing with Sanjuro, and that is the uncle, the chamberlain, the horseface. These to stand out as burning stars against a massive black sky - the rest is horrifying; the chaos of tyranical men and the fear crazed soldiers, their supplicants.


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