War in Georgia, Apkhazeti region in 1990. An Estonian man Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crops of tangerines. In a bloody conflict at his door, a wounded man is left behind, and Ivo is forced to take him in.
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.
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
This movie was originally going to be a faithful adaption of a Shûgorô Yamamoto novel called "Peaceful Days", and was going to be made before Yojimbo (1961), which is about a group of nine samurai who are helped out by two ronin who are inadequate fighters and have to use their wits to trick two evil opposing sides into disposing of each other. The antagonists were changed to a corrupt government body and the tricking two opposing sides into fighting each over element was used for "Yojimbo". After that film was a success, Toho requested that Akira Kurosawa produce a sequel. He changed the two weak ronin to the powerful Sanjuro character and rewrote the script to match the tone of "Yojimbo". In addition, when this was going to be "Peaceful Days", Kurosawa was only going to write it and Hiromichi Horikawa (his assistant director) was going to direct it and Furankî Sakai and Keiju Kobayashi were to play the two ronin. See more »
Among the Most Entertaining of Kurosawa's or Mifune's Movies
Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune combined their abilities in numerous fine movies, and while "Sanjuro", for its part, is lighter than most of the others, it is certainly one of the most entertaining of the movies that either of the two has made. Mifune gets a role that allows him to get many good moments, and it's also a role that he must have enjoyed playing.
The story is quite interesting, with many good turns and a way of keeping you guessing as to what will happen next. Mifune plays a samurai who takes it upon himself to try to save a rather hapless but nevertheless worthy clan from government conspiracy and from its own foolishness. It's a role that gives him both plenty of good lines and plenty of good action sequences. Kurosawa, of course, knows just how to get the most out of all of the material, and the story also provides some interesting psychological insights on the characters.
The settings are very good, and they are often used in creative ways in telling the story. Except for Mifune's character, most of the other characters are fairly one-dimensional, but they are believable, and they also allow plenty of room for Mifune to get the most out of each of his scenes. The result is a very enjoyable and well-crafted movie.
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