D: Akira Kurosawa
Toho (Ryuzô Kikushima, Akira Kurosawa & Tomoyuki Tanaka)
Japan 1961
110 mins


W: Ryuzô Kikushima & Akira Kurosawa
DP: Kazuo Miyagawa & Takao Saito
Ed: Akira Kurosawa
Mus: Masara Sato
PD: Yoshiro Muraki
Cos: Yoshiro Muraki

Toshiro Mifune (Sanjuro), Tatsuya Nakadai (Unosuke), Yoko Tsukasa (Nui), Isuzu Yamada (Orin)

The plot would sound incredibly familiar to those who have seen A Fistful Of Dollars, especially as Sergio Leone's first film of his Spaghetti Western trilogy was a remake of this film.
Toshiro Mifune plays a samurai who offers his services as a bodyguard-for-hire to the members of two feuding bandit gangs in a small village, but he manipulates events so both gangs eventually tear themselves apart.
Yojimbo isn't quite up to the same level as Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece, The Seven Samurai, but it is still masterfully crafted, with an almost balletic choreographic style to the action scenes and a powerfully menacing performance from Toshiro Mifune.
Certain elements may feel dated, but the legacy of the film still goes on, inspiring many films in its wake, even in modern times.
A Fistful Of Dollars was a worthy remake of this material, but this original film is certainly worth your time.

Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo
Toshiro Mifune in Yojimbo