Akira Kurosawa (1961)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Such was the influence of the Hollywood western on Akira Kurosawa's superb samurai action adventure that it seems only fair that it, in turn, inspired Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars, the film that launched the Italian "spaghetti" western. Combining moments of comedy, intrigue and sudden, shocking violence, Kurosawa manages to celebrate the samurai genre at the same time as he is subtly subverting it. Toshiro Mifune is tremendous as the wandering warrior who sells his sword skills to both sides in a feud-torn community only to dupe them both into mutual slaughter. He returned in the sequel, Sanjuro, the following year.


A wandering 19th-century samurai arrives in a town that is dominated by two rival gangsters. He decides to save the locals from their influence by playing both sides off against each other until they wipe each other out - but his plan is complicated by the arrival of a wily gunslinger. Akira Kurosawa's adventure, starring Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai. In Japanese.

Cast & Crew

Sanjuro Kuwabatake Toshiro Mifune
Gonji Eijiro Tono
Seibei Seizaburo Kawazu
Orin Isuzu Yamada
Yoichiro Hiroshi Tachikawa
Homma Susumu Fujita
Director Akira Kurosawa
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Other Information

Language: Japanese +subtitlesBlack and whiteAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-ray