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Sanjuro [Blu-ray]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yûji Oda, Makoto Fujita, Shin'yû Fujiwara, Tsuyoshi Hayashi, Ichitaro
  • Directors: Yoshimitsu Morita
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Ryûzô Kikushima, Shûgorô Yamamoto
  • Producers: Akihiko Ôsugi, Haruki Kadokawa, Hiroshi Hayakawa
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: March 23 2010
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00319HT9M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,005 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 16 2010
Format: Blu-ray
He's a nameless, grizzled man who wanders through 1800s Japan. Think Clint Eastwood with a topknot.

And the sequel to Akira Kurosawa's classic "Yojimbo" is very different in tone -- rather than a straightforward grizzled-anti-hero-cleans-up-the-town tale, it's a comic story about the unnamed hero getting stuck on a ship of fools, and having to unravel a small-time political conspiracy. While it's Kurosawa's lightest samurai movie, it's still a solid action/drama flick with plenty of comedy sprinkled in.

A gang of idealistic young nobles are gathered in a decaying house, talking about how they are trying to battle local corruption. Suddenly a scruffy warrior (Toshirô Mifune) who calls himself Sanjûrô Tsubaki (basic translation -- 30-year-old camellia... going on forty), appears and tells them who is lying and who isn't -- and that after confiding in the treacherous superintendant, they're being set up for an ambush.

After he saves their butts and drags the none-too-bright young men into hiding, he begins concocting a plan to save one young man's uncle, who is being held as a political hostage. After rescuing the lord's wife and daughter, Sanjuro and his band of fools continue with their plots to save him from the evil superintendant -- and he teaches his bumbling co-conspirators that exalted social position isn't what keeps you alive...

Kurosawa isn't known for having made goofball comedies -- he tended more towards action and tragedy -- but there's a definite comic flair to "Sanjuro," from the pampered prisoner offering nuggets of wisdom ("Get back in the closet!" one of his captors yells) to the silent "happy dance" that all the young noblemen do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nat Hawthorne TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 23 2014
Format: Blu-ray
This movie makes more sense if you have already watched Yojimbo because Sanjuro is a worthy follow-up to Yojimbo. Mifune is a drifter samurai who stumbles into yet another village that he can exploit. His task is made easier by the infighting between the rival groups in the village. A well-directed and well-acted movie that continues the hit streak of its director Kurosawa and lead actor Mifune. One of the classics.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another Kurosawa gem Nov. 23 2007
By Eugenia - Published on
Format: DVD
An absolutely delightful film about samurai's fight for honor. It is smart and funny. We learn about a group of young samurai who want to stop corruption in their clan. In preparation for their uprising they run into an outcast, seemingly unkept and not very polite samurai. For exchange of food, saki and a little bit of money, he offers this group of rebels his warrior help. While this group of young rebels has a fire in their belly to fight for the right cause, they are not particularly smart. It is really funny when in one moment our main character says to one of them: "Are you born in the year of Ox?" trying to depict young man's not so bright standing. We see japanese style sword fighing, but also battle of the wits. Film will keep you entertained to the end with its humor and humility. I absolutely recommend this film to anyone who enjoys foreign movies.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Finely crafted sequel to "Yojimbo" Feb. 20 2007
By David Bonesteel - Published on
Format: DVD
A group of eager, chivalrous, but young and inexperienced samurai find themselves marked for death by corrupt officials, but they are fortunate to make the acquaintance of Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune), the masterless samurai whose sense of honor and decency is masked by a gruff, sarcastic exterior. This film is played more for laughs than the previous "Yojimbo," but director Akira Kurosawa doesn't stint on the swordplay and suspense. Mifune is wonderful as always. Despite the comedy, the film's stunning finale makes quite a sobering and penetrating comment on the character of a man like Sanjuro.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sanjuro June 28 2007
By John Farr - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Sanjuro" may not match its predecessor in sheer virtuosity, but it's actually more fun, thanks to Mifune's comic scenery-chewing, and the innately humorous contrast between the clean, proper youths and their unlikely, unkempt protector. Sanjuro's savvy counsel to the virtuous but impulsive youths ("Things are not always what they seem") gets repeated and borne out through various developments which eventually help restore justice to the land. Bottom-line: In this entry, Mifune himself really warms to "Sanjuro," and as a result, so do we.
Great but odd sequel to the classic Yojimbo Jan. 31 2007
By Peter J. Ward - Published on
Format: DVD
Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) is a samurai movie based in the detective novels of Dashiell Hammett - particularly Red Harvest. Akira Kurosawa wanted to bring the best of literature and interpret it into Japanese cinema. Its interesting that the two main influences in this process were Hammett's hard-boiled detective fiction and William Shakespeare (Ran, Throne of Blood). The sequel, Sanjuro, is a departure of sorts from Yojimbo. Kurosawa and Mifune return as we find our nameless hero assisting some naive samurai who have been backed into a corner by corrupt officials in their clan. Played more for laughs but still brimming with cynicism and wonderfully orchestrated fights (the final scene will leave you afraid to blink), Sanjuro is a worthy but unusual follow-up to the cynical Yojimbo.

Criterion did an excellent job with their recent re-release of Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, and it appears that they are giving the same treatment to both Yojimbo & Sanjuro. A new (and improved) translation, commentary from Steven Price, as well as documentary film focusing on Kurosawa during the time he was making these great movies. This review is modified from my review of the Yojimbo/Sanjuro double DVD pack, each movie is great, but I'd recommend picking up both.
fantastic adventure with lot of hidden humorous moments May 11 2007
By JustAConsumer - Published on
Format: DVD
this is another very entertaining film in black and white. but as it was shot in two tones, the lighting technique of this movie was a disaster from the very beginning. there were many night scenes in this movie, but it all looked like in day time. in the temple, barn and other places, the lighting was too bright. when they crawled over the wall, the whole wall was as bright as silver screen. too much light had made their shadows so sharp and so long in the bright streets and lanes. when they went to the chamberlain's residence, the interior lights were at least 1000 watts bright, the garden was as bright as in daytime. this was a major overlook or...well, did i adjust the brightness on my dvd player too much?