Yojimbo (1961) poster
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 621 users
# of Watchers: 1,163
Reviews: 1 user
Ranked #1634
Popularity #7734
Watchers 621

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 the innkeeper's abduction by Unosuke, and returns to the town to confront him. (Source: IMDb) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(台灣)
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Apr 25, 1961
  • Duration: 1 hr. 50 min.
  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 621 users)
  • Ranked: #1634
  • Popularity: #7734
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Cast & Credits

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Yojimbo (1961) photo
Yojimbo (1961) photo
Yojimbo (1961) photo
Yojimbo (1961) photo
Yojimbo (1961) photo
Yojimbo (1961) photo

Reviews

Completed
The Butterfly
3 people found this review helpful
Jun 29, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
Stop me if you’ve heard this one, a lone unnamed man in black wanders into a dusty, dilapidated town that’s as broken down as its moral code and he sets to work cleaning it up. I grew up watching Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns starring Clint Eastwood with my dad on television. This is the movie that Leone ripped off, I mean used as inspiration for A Fistful of Dollars. Of course, Kurosawa borrowed heavily from a novel by American author, Dashiell Hammett, for the plot of Yojimbo. I saw dashes of old American Western movie touches in it as well. Inspiration shared can reap great rewards for audiences.

Despite his unkempt appearance, Mifune Toshiro saunters into town with a posture like an old-time gunfighter ready for a fight. In this town gambling, lying, cheating, and murder reign supreme. Prostitutes and townsfolk peer out of windows watching the play unfolding before them. The people are dirty and you can practically smell them in the desolate landscape. Western heroes before this were squeaky clean, but this ronin is roughly dressed and seems to scratch at fleas in his hair. I kept expecting to see a tumbleweed skitter across the dirt road in front of him.

Mifune Toshiro’s subtle and fluid body language and ever-changing facial expressions conveyed more than 10 pages of dialogue could about his character. He is the coolest ronin ever. Masterless, broke, and hungry he strolls into town taking inventory. While he has compassion on the townsfolk oppressed by two vicious rival gangs vying for control, he also needs to make some money. He has no problem doing what needs to be done to turn the gangs against each other and pocketing a few coins. This is not the cowboy with a white hat who adheres to an unbudging ethical code, this ronin toys with his prey before ultimately killing it. Sanjuro (the name the character chooses at random) is a classic anti-hero and fascinating to watch.

There is humor interspersed among the mayhem. One of my favorite scenes is after Sanjuro had stirred up trouble between the gangs, he climbed to a high point to gleefully watch the confrontation.

I’m no film student, but my amateur eye can pick up on the skill that went into the cinematography of this film. Every shot and frame felt filmed with care and an eye toward what was necessary for the story to be told.

The music varied from ominous to playful with some kooky 1960’s horns and cymbals thrown in for good measure.

Yojimbo is not a non-stop action film, though there are a few good action scenes in it. Sanjuro is as deft with his strategy as he is with his sword which is fun to watch as he pits people against each other. Yojimbo is a classic for a reason and well worth trying. I found it highly entertaining.



29 June 2021

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Details

  • Movie: Yojimbo
  • Country: Japan
  • Release Date: Apr 25, 1961
  • Duration: 1 hr. 50 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 8.2 (scored by 621 users)
  • Ranked: #1634
  • Popularity: #7734
  • Watchers: 1,163

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