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8.7
/10
6,747 Ratings

Yojimbo

Yôjinbô

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan, 1961
Action, Comedy, Adventure

Synopsis

A nameless ronin wonders into a rural village in feudal Japan. To restore peace in the community, he concocts a plan to play the two head rivals, fighting for monopoly of the local gambling trade, against one another.

Our take

Has there ever been a Japanese director as key for Western cinema as Akira Kurosawa? Remade by Sergio Leone and Walter Hill, this colorful action flick skillfully explores the world and its self-destructive nature. Toshiro Mifune won Best Actor at the 1961 Venice Film Festival for his performance.

Yojimbo Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

1961 | Winner: Best Actor

Academy Awards

1962 | Nominee: Best Costume Design, Black-and-White

Viennale

2016

Critics reviews

Kurosawa’s loose and darkly funny adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest is a visually expressive marvel, with the director taking full advantage of the lateral possibilities of the widescreen frame. One scans the screen for details as if watching a tennis match—the garish visuals pop up on one side of the screen, then the other, then the other.
June 17, 2016
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Scratching himself, gnawing a toothpick and laughing smugly at his own private jokes, Toshiro Mifune’s Sanjuro represented a new kind of antihero; new for the director, at least, often accused of naive sentimentality, who reached back to Dashiell Hammett toughs for this self-serving but likable ronin. Mifune’s naturalism here clashes pleasingly with the colorful mugging from mostly Kurosawa regulars.
June 10, 2015
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