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aka - Tsubaki Sanjûrô
Japan 1962
Directed by
Akira Kurosawa
96 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Sanjuro

Kurosawa's producers insisted that he make a follow-up to his samurai film, Yojimbo, and he delivered them this comedy, adapted from a novel, 'Peaceful Days', by Shugoro Yamamoto,Toshiro Mifune is back as the itinerant samurai, Sanjuro, who with a couple of companions (Hideo Oguni and Ryuzo Kikushima) takes up the cause of a group of kimono-clad panty-waists caught amidst inter-clan rivalry.

An amusing near-spoof of his own work in the genre, Kurosawa plays it much like the comedy Western which was very popular at the time with the high-point being the presence of the chamberlain's wife (Takako Irie) who is constantly urging Sanjuro to be non-violent, creating a good deal of moral angst for him. The penultimate scene which involves a kind of "shoot-out" between Sanjuro and his opposite number, Muroto, does not pass visual muster but the geyser of blood spurting from the loser puts Tarantino to shame.

DVD Extras: Newly restored and re-mastered transfer; original theatrical trailer.

Available from: Madman

 

 

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