Yojimbo/Sanjuro: Two Samurai Films by Akira Kurosawa [Criterion Collection] [2 Discs] [Blu-ray]

  • SKU: 9774748
  • Release Date: 03/23/2010
  • Rating: NR

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)

    Special Features

    • Audio commentaries by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
    • Documentaries on the making of Yojimbo and Sanjuro, created as part of the toho masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: it is wonderful to create
    • Theatrical teasers and trailers
    • Stills galleries of behind-the-scenes photos
    • Plus: booklet featuring essays by film writers Alexander Sesonske and Michael Sragow and comments from Kurosawa and members of his cast and crews


    Set in the mid-19th century when the disintegration of a rigid social structure was turning the once wealthy into paupers, or vice-versa, this kinetic drama by acclaimed Akira Kurosawa features the hero Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune), one of many samurai whose once traditional positions were fast disappearing. In this tale of false perceptions and truth, of honor and dishonor, Sanjuro is a character who captures and holds attention from the moment he appears on screen. When he arrives in a small city, he discovers that a band of nine men are anxious to overthrow the corrupt ruling elite. Physically strong and agile, mentally sharp and clear-headed, Sanjuro still has an deep commitment to justice and honor underneath his dirty, abrasive, and cynical exterior. The nine men may doubt his nobility, but that is because they are only looking skin deep. While the sword fighting and action scenes are memorable, it is Toshiro Mifune's characterization and Kurosawa's camera eye that enhance the story. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

    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, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Toshiro Mifune
      Toshiro Mifune - Sanjuro Tsubaki
    • Yuzo Kayama
      Yuzo Kayama - Ioti Izaka
    • Tatsuya Nakadai
      Tatsuya Nakadai - Hanbei Muroto
    • Keiju Kobayashi
      Keiju Kobayashi - Spy
    • Image coming soon
      Reiko Dan - Chidori, Mutsuta's daughter

    Customer rating

    would recommend to a friend
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Samurai action at it's best

      • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

      Here are two of the best action movies ever made in stunning High Defenition. Yojimbo (which means 'bodyguard' in English) and Sanjuro follow the exploits of a ronin ('masterless samurai') in fuedal Japan who identifies himself as 'Sanjuro' (probably not his real name). In 'Yojimbo', Sanjuro wanders in to a village besieged by two rival crime bosses. In this movie, he engineers various situations to bring the conflict between the two bosses to a head. In 'Sanjuro', he helps a group of incompetent samurai free their lord from a rival. Both movies feature lots of action and lots of comedy. Kurosawa does his usual masterful job directing the sword duels and Toshiro Mifune is awsome as the mysterious Sanjuro. The antics of the thugs in 'Yojimbo' and the misdaventures of the incompetent samurai in 'Sanjuro' are always hilarious to watch. The Blu-Ray transfer is outstanding. Everything is clear, highly detail and sharply defined. Therer are some missing frames in one or two isolated scenes in 'Yojimbo', but that is a source material problem. Both films look stunning and clear. The blacks are black and the whites are white. The extras for both films give insights on the production of both films as well as trailers for both. There's even some input from surviving cast members, including an actor who is lousy in love scenes but great in eating scenes. These movies are good examples of Chanbara, this is the name for a genre of samurai action films (the name comes from the sound of swords clashing). What could easily be run of the mill movies are instead masterpieces thanks to the efforts of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune. I recommend these movies to anyone who likes action movies or is curious about Japanese movies.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Together at last!

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      The two greatest samurai movies to come out of the sixties in Blue-Ray format and packaged by Criterion. These are the films that inspired the Sergio Leone westerns that launched Clint Eastwood's movie career - but Toshiro Mifune's unshaven, lice-scratching, limb-lopping mercenary makes Eastwood's "Man with No Name" look like a limp frat boy in comparison. Beautifully restored with lots of extras.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Akira Kurosawa classics

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      If you are a fan of his work this is a beautiful presentation of two of the best ever made. Yojimbo was the basis for A Fistful of Dollars and Sanjuro is one of my all time favorite samurai films.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      This Criterion release is excellent. Scorsese is the best.

      I would recommend this to a friend

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