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Rotten Tomatoes Critics - certified fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - upright 95%
IMDb Rating 8.2


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August 9, 2018 at 12:01 pm



Toshirô Mifune as n Sanjûrô Tsubaki / The Samurainn
Tatsuya Nakadai as n Hanbei Murotonn
Takashi Shimura as n Kurofujinn
720p 1080p
789.57 MB
n 1280*544 n
n Japanese n
n NR n
n 23.976 fps n
n 1hr 36 min n
P/S 47 / 221
n 1920*752 n
n Japanese n
n NR n
n 23.976 fps n
n 1hr 36 min n
P/S 80 / 246

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Kurosowa goes into blockbuster mode!

That must be what this film was when it came out. Yet comparisons between it and Yojimbo (Sanjuro being the sequel) often get it a bit wrong and tend to regard Sanjuro as better. Yes and no. It's a bit like comparing Die Hard and Die Hard with Avengeance, the third film is bigger, funnier, faster... but the first installment is darker and more original. Same with these two: Kurosowa's Yojimbo is dark and has a message and some depth (more than Sanjuro), but Sanjuro is more fun and has a faster pace. It isn't Kurosowa's finest hour, but may be one of his best attempts at lightweight crowd-pleasing (though still bearing lots of quality!) and much closer to great Hollywood capers that inspired him (John Ford was his idol!). Mifune is on top form, yet again, as the reluctant nonchalant samurai/manipulator Sanjuro, and layers his performance with a subtly comical aspect. Probably the best film of Kurosowa's oeuvre to watch first if you've never seen any of his films with Mifune (it has a short running time [96min] and flows smoothly). See what I mean? Yeah you! Well then get moving: go out there and see what all the fuss is about!!!

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Excellent - Superb - A Masterpiece

Akira Kurosawa is probably the best Director in the entire History of film-making. He has not been that prolific given the amount of time he has spent making films, but many of these have subsequently been remade - Seven Samurai became the magnificent seven. Yoijimbo (the prequel to this one) became A fistful of dollars - and more recently last man standing. The hidden Fortress became Star Wars. Sanjuro marked the return of Toshiro Mifune as the Sardonic Ronin from Yoijimbo. Yet again, the photography is excellent - the period costumes and buildings beautiful to look at even in black and white. From one of the first scenes, in the grounds outside the Shrine, Mifune shows a 500% improvement in the art of Kenjutso - he must have been practicing night and day! But it is the character of Sanjuro itself that makes the film so absorbing. He is on the surface, a dirty, disrespectful abrasive man - but his deeds portray him as a hero - someone who once was a shining example of a Samurai and despite being put through the ringer still holds to a deeply rooted code of honor. When this shows however, he is most anxious to cover it up again..... The film involves a power struggle within a small city in Japan between the old faction and the new power-hungry one. It deals with false perceptions and truth. Two of the tenets that are at the heart of Kurosawa's films. This is a Gem - rent it - if you can, Buy it!

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

One of Kurosawa's most polished movies

Tsubaki Sanjuro is, unfortunately, not so widely seen abroad (= outside Japan) as Yojinbo, probably because it was not copied as a western. In Japan, however, Tsubaki Sanjuro is not less popular than Yojinbo. Not a few Japanese actually prefer the former to the latter, and it's easy to see why: It is stylistically more polished and smarter than Yojimbo and Mifune is 'cooler' as well - he shows a brilliant leadership and every Mifune fan would be really delighted to see how his young, naive disciples run after him like chicks following the mother duck.And while Yojinbo's female main character, Orin, is an evil and crafty woman, Lady Mutsuta in Tsubaki Sanjuro is 'irritatingly light-hearted'. But she has a deep insight into Sanjuro's personality and understands him far better than his male disciples. An excellent character, and, in fact, she is the only person in Tsubaki Sanjuro AND Yojinbo to whom Sanjuro/Mifune speaks in a polite form (in Japanese).Tsubaki Sanjuro is, so to speak, a 'concentrate' of Kurosawa's cinematography and one sees in it every aspect of his greatness in a very compact form. Therefore no one could remake this movie.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

The master in a lighter mode

Sanjuro is not one of Kurosawa's great films, but it shows him relaxed and having fun, deconstructing the jidai-geki (samurai film) genre with tongue firmly in cheek.The film lacks the meticulous visual style of Yojimbo, but it is very well photographed, with some extremely fluid cinematography and those effortlessly artful group compositions that only Kurosawa seems to be able to do. The plot is a little exposition-heavy, but it's always swift-moving and never comes close to taking itself seriously.Watching Toshiro slice apart all those enemies in the various battle scenes with nary a bloodstain in sight, I did find myself wishing the folks at Toho had sprung for a few squibs. But all is set right in the brilliant final swordfight, which is worth the price of admission.

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