Again it’s a reprise of Yojimbo, but a thrilling reprise nonetheless, as Sanjuro slaughters the guards in a tour de force action sequence. Yojimbo (1961) vs Sanjuro (1962): Film Review Posted on June 3, 2011 by carolineguerin The cinematic impact of Akira Kurosawa ‘s Yojimbo can be seen most clearly in westerns such as Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy, where a nameless lone fighter comes to a lawless town and sets warring factions against each other. Ironically, Kurosawa’s Kurosawa First, Kurosawa checks in with the Chamberlain who is revealed for the first time as he lightly lectures the young samurai for not trusting him and causing a lot of unnecessary death, including the ritual suicide of the Superintendent. Much of it is a long take with a carefully composed composition as we … Quotes ... Sanjûrô Tsubaki : [before their final duel] Must we fight? Which isn’t to say that Sanjuro is a tragedy. The Hidden Fortress (隠し砦の三悪人, Kakushi toride no san akunin, literally, "The Three Villains of the Hidden Fortress") is a 1958 jidaigeki adventure film directed by Akira Kurosawa.It narrates the story of two peasants who agree to escort a man and a woman across enemy lines in return for gold without knowing that he is a general and the woman is a princess. There is a good point to be made here about too much of a with the violence and killing he is forced to engage in purely due to the Muroto is so trusting that he’s ready to reveal all to Sanjuro. bloodlessness), but today you have blood filled squibs popping off everywhere The opening cine has you hooked, as Sanjuro single-handedly beats up about 15 men with his sword’s sheath. Sanjuro is an amazing piece of cinematography. And the exaggerated final duel (that blood fountain) is a great satire on the unrealistic portrayal of duels in samurai films, while also being incredibly cool in its own right (samurai films are popular for a reason). classics like, Nowhere were these dueling goals, crowd pleasing and Its story is one of adventure, and cunning smarts, as the old samurai Sanjuro leads 9 young heroes on a mission of saving a town from a dictator. Why wouldn’t Sanjuro turn them all in to save his own hide and probably get a reward? The Samurai is just a bit faster, of course, and he slashes The uncle took their evidence and told them to go home and mind their own business, essentially. Sanjuro being the name of the character (obviously a pseudonym), he is a ronin that gets sucked in to a local coup. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. across Muroto’s chest, creating a shocking fountain of blood as the young man It seems like a perfect plan, except that the description of the temple is off which puts Sanjuro in jeopardy as soon as he steps through the gates. He is so convincing that Hanbei (Tatsuya Nakadai) swallows his line and becomes the unwitting accomplice of … Toshiro Mifune is playing the role Clint Eastwood played. Sanjuro is the sequel. What’s even better is that while Sanjuro isn’t likely to be called one of Kurosawa’s major works, it’s still an accomplished, highly entertaining film with a clear message. Since they have no way of knowing where the Chamberlain is, Sanjuro takes charge sending many of the samurai off to spy on the houses of the Superintendent and his confederates while he plots the rescue of the Chamberlain’s wife (Takakao Irie) and Iiro’s love interest, Chidori (Reiko Dan). Sanjuro is both attracted to the idea of being part of society again and repelled by it, although he does try to follow the Chamberlain’s wife edict that he should restrict his killing. With Sanjuro. Someone that could have been his friend and ally in different circumstances. Not taking no for an answer, Iiro reports that he turned to the Superintendent Kikui (Masao Shimizu) for help and after being surprised by the uncle’s reaction the Superintendent agreed to cooperate. falls. Even their prisoner, in a great bit of comic relief, almost becomes part of their group under the influence of the Chamberlain’s wife. Product Identifiers Except for the fact that they both spot the young samurai spying on them. r/loltyler1. Up to this point, That blood fountain became iconic almost immediately, and Moruto is no sadist, but a pragmatic leader in his own right who recognizes a kindred spirit in Sanjuro. Posts about Sanjuro. Tatsuya Nakadai was Mifune’s chief nemesis in Yojimbo, and obviously Kurosawa wanted to repeat that success. Hanbei Muroto is one step ahead of Sanjuro and the young samurai and they can’t even run a public relations campaign. Samurai movies show a distinct Western influence. By all accounts the shoot was one of Kurosawa’s shortest and most fun. The Chamberlain cuts them a little slack by telling a joke about his looks, but the lesson is communicated. A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent. Like with Yojimbo my basis for comparison is again with Criterion’s original non-anamorphic DVD from 1999. The shared nature between the two men is obvious, and Muroto even reveals his own ambitions to manage the Superintendent so that he is the power behind the official and running to clan as he sees fit. It turns out that he was sleeping in the back room of the temple and overheard their discussion. A friend, while in college, went to a showing of Yojimbo. The Superintendent even goes so far as to suggest Iiro should gather all his followers immediately, which brings us to present time and efficiently dispenses with most of the necessary exposition. straight line from this shot to such diverse modern masterworks as Kurosawa frames the scene with Iiro in the center of the frame. They want to thank Sanjuro, but he doesn’t want their thanks, rather a few coins so that he can feed himself. 97.2k members. If this whole setup looks like a high noon scene from a These events are necessary and fun, but they don’t really move the plot forward. and disgraced, Muroto challenges the Samurai to a duel. However, there’s no shame going out on a film as good and enjoyable as Sanjuro. A thanks was planned for Sanjuro as well, but he’s nowhere to be seen, which is something of a relief to the Chamberlain even as the young samurai rush out to find Sanjuro. Posted on Jun 10, 2013 by Robert Reineke | 0 comments. Visit. At least that’s the impression based on the setup. Which forces Sanjuro to act, against his efforts not to kill people wantonly, to free the two samurai when Muroto leaves to get additional guards due to the importance of their two prisoners. Along with their release of Yojimbo Criterion presents Akira Kurosawa’s sequel Sanjuro in the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this dual-layer Blu-ray disc. Audiences agreed as Sanjuro was yet another hit. At this point, chance plays a role as Chidori and the Chamberlain’s wife discover a note in the stream which reveals that the Chamberlain is being held next door. It’s at this point that Sanjuro meets his moral opposite in the Chamberlain’s wife. What follows are a series of feints and where Sanjuro starts to run out of fresh ideas. All that death is caused by a lack of trust. With Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yûnosuke Itô. In this film, almost all the samurai apart from Sanjuro himself and Muroto are either bureaucrats or warriors in name only; in the scene where Sanjuro kills the guards to free his four captured comrades, almost none of them put up a decent fight, with the guards being … And, this time, Kurosawa comes up with a really great visual for selling Sanjuro’s story by leaving him to be discovered in a genuinely embarrassing condition. But, if the plot isn’t rushing forward, Kurosawa makes sure to stress that Sanjuro is very much an outsider. Sanjuro is quick, but the Superintendent is wasting no time either and a glance out the window concludes that all escape routes have been blocked. The final duel sums up Kurosawa’s visual style and strategy succinctly. He was exactly like me. r/criterion. The two men stare at each other for a long moment, appearing card classic compact. The ruse is, of course, discovered after the guards leave, but trickery rules the day as Sanjuro convinces the Superintendent and Kurofuji to dump a bunch of camellia flowers of a certain color into the stream as the signal to call off the raid. In an irony, that’s the very same place that the superintendent is holding the chamberlain, with a wall, a little stream, and flowering camellia trees separating and connecting the two sides. all. Instead, we’re introduced to a gathering of young samurai in a temple. the two square off for a fight to the death. directors in Italy, due in no small part to the ending of this shot. 90.5k members. An ironic end to a film that often that celebrates Sanjuro’s skill with the sword. A naked sword. Rather than the prolonged sword battle typical of the genre, the final duel plays out like a Western gun fight (in the style popularised by Sergio Leone later in the decade): a long, staring, near-motionless build, then a moment of cathartic violence, then a pause to allow what just happened to sink in. He’s clearly the leader and the story is going to revolve around him. This Criterion Collection contains Akira Kurosawa’s 1961 film, “Yojimbo,” & its 1962 sequel, “Sanjuro,” both of which star Toshiro Mifune in the lead role as Kuwabatake Sanjuro. Although she’s played for comedy, she’s just as naïve as the young samurai and totally unused to any physical exertion, she also embodies feudal nobility and ideals in a very real way. What can go wrong with that plan? Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Realizing that the Superintendent will act swiftly, they’re all immediately off to spirit the Chamberlain away. But, in the character of the Chamberlain’s wife, he allows the samurai ideals of honor tempered with mercy have their day. The action is sudden, and violent with an impressive gush of blood as Muroto is dispatched, with a quick montage of reaction shots from all the spectators. Samurai movies would go on to inspire a generation of Spaghetti Western Harryhousen’s. through trickery and deception rather than skill with a blade. We regard the Chamberlain’s wife as soft and foolish, while her judgments and pronouncements prove to be spot on and right, again and again. Much of it is a long take with a carefully composed composition as we wait for the two samurai to spring into action. couldn’t have known that he was sending us down a road that ended in mass desensitization The famous final scene of his duel with Hanbei, the henchman of the corrupt superintendent, is poignant. When Sanjuro, walking into town, announces, “I want 3 coffins”, my friend immediately realized he was watching the Japanese version of A Fistful of Dollars. After trying and To an extent, anyways. Masterless and disgraced, Muroto challenges the Samurai to a duel. Posts. He didn't stay in his sheath. In the end the Samurai defeats the young henchman Sanjuro’s plan, essentially a reprise of Yojimbo, spurs a fierce argument among the samurai. to violence, he just knew that he had made an awesome effect, and he was right. Sanjuro (1962) Toshirô Mifune: Sanjûrô Tsubaki, The Samurai. Most particularly, she sees right through Sanjuro’s character judging him to be like an exposed sword that cuts everything in his way (even when it isn’t necessary), while the best swords remain in their sheathes. It’s easy to imagine the continuing adventures of Toshiro Mifune in the role, but it would turn out to be the last pairing of Kurosawa and Mifune in a samurai adventure film. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Kurosawa, In Order #29 – Rhapsody in August, All Hallow’s Lee: To the Devil a Daughter, Still Watching the Skies: Episode 56 “The Andromeda Strain”. their entire careers around creating gorier and gorier effects. And it’s left to Sanjuro to take charge, which will define the remainder of the movie as he uses his head to get out of the tight spot. For this reason, Sanjuro is a more straightforward action-adventure than its cunning predecessor, yet this accessible sequel is equally entertaining every step of the way. Muroto recognizes a man of Sanjuro’s skill and can relate to him on a level that the idealistic samurai cannot. With no real choice, the two expert swordsmen capture the two young samurai and throw them among guards. A duel that Sanjuro thinks is foolish and unnecessary, but which Muroto insists on since Sanjuro abused his trust. Throughout the story, Sanjuro poses as a bad ronin who is after making a quick score. In what may be the greatest samurai duel ever put to film, Kurosawa is able to have his cake and eat it, too. The other young samurai aren’t really given much characterization other than the hothead of the group. So, instead of trusting, Iiro and the hotheaded samurai decide to follow and spy on Sanjuro. That embarrassment saves Sanjuro’s cover, but a failure that spectacular can’t be ignored as Sanjuro’s plan to infiltrate the Superintendent’s group comes to a premature and futile end which accomplished nothing but the unnecessary deaths of some guards. Kurosawa was never particularly enamored with Japan’s feudal past and he doesn’t hesitate at all to make fun of the young samurai and their dreams of glory. A foolish view, which is quickly pointed out as Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune) intrudes on the scene. Muroto sets up a trap which the young samurai are eager to rush into, but which Sanjuro keeps them out of. The film opens, somewhat surprisingly, without Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune) wandering into town. Kurusawa stages the entire sequence as one long shot, with Communities. Feel free to insert your own Human Centipede joke here, who knows, Sanjuro might actually have been an inspiration considering there’s a Japanese part in Tom Six’s film. after that it wasn’t possible to release a Samurai movie without fountains of A lot can go wrong actually. Comment by John Hocking - December 30, 2020 7:18 pm. fake blood spraying everywhere. Featuring an excellent supporting cast and typically brilliant photography, the film is engaging from the bold opening scene to the tense, bloody final duel between Muroto and Sanjuro. Product Identifiers The final duel sums up Kurosawa’s visual style and strategy succinctly. Join. And, in a burst of action, Sanjuro kills two of the guards, while the remaining samurai capture one for questioning, and have spirited the women to the local barn. Or almost pure, as Sanjuro decides to take some responsibility for these young fools who might get themselves killed out of their own idealism. And, for once, Sanjuro has no response. In a bit of a repeat of Yojimbo, Sanjuro has hidden the young samurai under the floor boards of the temple. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! But, Sanjuro has already picked sides. Continuing a playful mood, Kurosawa has the samurai hole up right next to the superintendent’s chief ally Kurofuji (Takashi Shimura), with the belief that the last place that their enemies will look is right under their own nose. reflection of the Samurai. If it is, it’s the most enjoyable tragedy ever filmed. Before departing for the road again, Sanjuro acknowledges that indeed the best swords remain sheathed and instructs the young samurai to remember that. card. Showing all 28 items Jump to: Photos (10) Quotes (18) Photos . He is constantly depicted as separate from the group, dirty and constantly scratching, as contrasted to carefully coiffed and clean samurai. His constant coming out of and retreating into the little closet the group has him “imprisoned” in is one of the great comic relief gags of Kurosawa’s career. It would turn out to be another triumph, featuring one of Mifune’s best performances, and turn out to be one of Kurosawa’s most accessible films. 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