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Yojimbo
1961

directed by
Akira Kurosawa

Consider how Kurosawa's top movies started at least with Rashomon, and that he himself thinks Ran is his best movie; a period stretching over thirty five years, from 1950-1985. Yojimbo comfortably falls in the middle of that range, so you'd expect it to be pretty good — and you wouldn't be disappointed, either. As far as I know, this is his first movie with both Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune. It's a real classic.



It starts off with an exhibition that has as much chutzpah as you could hope to get. The first thing Mifune encounters on his rambling tour, haphazardly leading to some village, is a dog coming by — with a hand in its mouth. He is then told what's going on by a shop-keeper, who opens up the four windows of his establishment to point out different parts of the scenery, one after another; highly efficient and not wasting a single frame of valuable screen time.

Everybody will tell you this is what A Fistful of Dollars is based on. Do you even remember that one?
Well, forget it right away (it's easy, just a spaghetti-western — no offense...)
go for the original.

Yojimbo
Toshiro Mifune stars as the war-weary samurai who is caught in the middle of a feud between rival factions in a village. One of Kurosawa's greatest films is also a sly commentary on action movies in general and helped inspire "A Fistful of Dollars."
Widescreen; Soundtrack: Japanese Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English; theatrical trailer.
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