Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) (1961)

Director: Akira Kurosawa. Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Eijiro Tono, Tatsuya Nakadai. 110 min. Unrated. Japan. Action/Drama.

Kurosawa's black-and-white Samurai tales rarely fail to entertain. Mifune as a masterless Samurai walks into a town run by two competing gangster factions, and manages to weaken both sides by pitting them against each other. Sound familiar? This was later remade as A Fistful of Dollars by the great Sergio Leone (and even later as Last Man Standing), which is credited to have started the Spaghetti Western subgenre. Amazed again how well Kurosawa's camerawork offers a very accurate image of the considerable action taking place - but still Mifune's famous warrior gait is the simple component to cherish and remember.

PS: That first action sequence is sooooooo Star Wars cantina fight.

Mo says:


  1. A nostalgia trip! Before paying attention to any technical or conceptual aspect of the movie, it just reminded me of those years of cinema and tv in our country(1360s). I mean we "had" to see this movie and similar ones without finding its real value.
    Completely agree about Mifune's famous warrior gait!

  2. The comment is mine. I just don't know why my name is incomplete!

  3. Dear Farzaneh,

    There are so many movies from that period which I thought were average or mediocre ... just because they were guilty of being shown by Iranian TV! Now that I look back, it seems many of those were pretty good films, and probably just too much for an elementary school child like me to understand their importance (or maybe they'd become absolutely worthless from all the censoring). In the correct setting and in their complete forms, now the same films seem very pleasant and worth watching.

    PS: Funny! One of my colleagues is a Chinese-American whose last name is Fa. I thought she had started commenting on my blog! :-D