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Yojimbo (Criterion Collection) (1961)

Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Toshiro Mifune, Eijiro Tono, more...
Director: Akira Kurosawa, Akira Kurosawa
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Criterion
Genre: Foreign, Japan, Adventure, Samurai, Criterion Collection
Languages: Japanese, Jap
Subtitles: English
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Toshiro Mifune portrays a Samurai who finds himself in the middle of a feud-torn Japanese village. Neither side is particularly honorable, but Mifune is hungry and impoverished, so he agrees to work as bodyguard (or Yojimbo) for a silk merchant (Kamatari Fujiwara) against a sake merchant (Takashi Shimura). He then pretends to go to work for the other, the better to let the enemies tear each other apart. Imprisoned for his "treachery," he escapes just in time to watch the two warring sides wipe each other out. This was his plan all along, and now that peace has been restored, he leaves the village for further exploits. Yes, Yojimbo was the prototype for the Clint Eastwood "Man with No Name" picture A Fistful of Dollars (1964). The difference is that Fistful relies on Eastwood for its success, whereas Yojimbo scores on every creative level, from director Akira Kurosawa to cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa to Mifune's classic lead performance. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Yojimbo (Criterion Collection) (1961)
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8.41 (639 votes)
Yojimbo (Criterion Collection) (Bonus Disc) (1961)
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9.00 (2 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

the master at work by figtree November 12, 2008 - 5:53 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Hardly any frame in this beautifully shot black and white picture-- a masterpiece of pacing and characterization-- is wasted.

This film gets referenced in everything from the novel 'Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars' to the comic book series 'Usagi Yojimbo.' See why for yourself.

By turns brutal & chilling, then just as easily warm & humorous, this is one of Kurosawa's best pictures, and a must for any serious fan of cinema or storytelling.

Yojimbo by tfpbot December 29, 2002 - 10:36 AM PST
5 out of 9 members found this review helpful
This plays like a Japanese spaghetti western (because that genre was inspired by this movie). I enjoyed the way the plot twists and turns, and the characters are great. The movie starts off at a really good pace, but slows toward the middle. It's a very good movie, those who are fans of Kurosawa should pick it up, but those just getting into foreign films should see the much better 'Seven Samurai' first. I liked it more than 'Rashomon'.

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