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Yojimbo (1961)
"Yôjinbô" (original title)

8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 57,102 users  
Reviews: 144 user | 131 critic

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

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Title: Yojimbo (1961)

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Top 250 #107 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Unosuke - Gunfighter
Yôko Tsukasa ...
Nui
Isuzu Yamada ...
Orin
Daisuke Katô ...
Inokichi - Ushitora's Rotund Brother
Seizaburô Kawazu ...
Seibê - Brothel Operator
...
Tokuemon - Sake Brewer
Hiroshi Tachikawa ...
Yoichiro
Yôsuke Natsuki ...
Kohei's Son
Eijirô Tôno ...
Gonji - Tavern Keeper
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Tazaemon
Ikio Sawamura ...
Hansuke
Atsushi Watanabe ...
The Cooper - Coffin-Maker
Susumu Fujita ...
Homma - Instructor Who Skips Town
Kyû Sazanka ...
Ushitora
Edit

Storyline

Sanjuro, a wandering samurai enters a rural town in nineteenth century Japan. After learning from the innkeeper that the town is divided between two gangsters, he plays one side off against the other. His efforts are complicated by the arrival of the wily Unosuke, the son of one of the gangsters, who owns a revolver. Unosuke has Sanjuro beaten after he reunites an abducted woman with her husband and son, then massacres his father's opponents. During the slaughter, the samurai escapes with the help of the innkeeper; but while recuperating at a nearby temple, he learns of innkeeper's abduction by Unosuke, and returns to the town to confront him. Written by Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 September 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yojimbo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Masaru Sato was instructed by Akira Kurosawa to write "whatever you like" so long as it was not the usual period samurai film music so commonly used by all the major studios at the time. He ended up writing something that was inspired by one of his idols, Henry Mancini, whom he had the pleasure of meeting shortly after the film was released, where they discussed his "Yojimbo" soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

In the initial fight scene The Samurai cuts the first two adversaries in the mid-section, then slices the last man's arm off. That last man is first seen from behind holding the sword in his right arm above his head, but the arm holding the sword shown moments later is a left arm. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Farmer: [in Japanese] Wait, son.
Traveler: [in Japanese] Let me go, father. It's my chance.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Spaghetti West (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Japan's Lone Ranger
17 September 2002 | by (Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Kurosowa, many believe, only shot samurai pictures. Wrong. Obviously: Dersu Uzala, Dodesukaden, Dreams, Ikiru... they have nothing to do with samurai! Others say he told stories of characters trying to redeem themselves or rediscovering themselves. The exception is the Sanjuro duology (Yojimbo & Sanjuro), a world of violence and dark humor. Sanjuro (Mifune, way cooler than Eastwood in Leone's conform copy western), a wandering ronin, arrives in a town where everyone seems to have some criminal history or other and where two warring factions fight for control. He then slowly proceeds to play both ends against one another... for money? for power? no. Simply because they are all scum and deserve to die! And this is where Kurosowa and Mifune's stellar talents really gear in: Sanjuro doesn't try to be cool or dark, he just acts as a casual tourist, and his enigmatic detatchement from the violence around him makes him far more menacing than any of the abjectly evil (and ugly) townsfolk around him... and cool, let's not forget. Yojimbo is Kurosowa's most darkly amusing film and one of Mifune's most brilliant turns. It also spanned a great (though inferior) sequel. I urge you to check this out, just to see what happens when real justice kicks in...


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