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Sanjuro [1962] [DVD]

Toshirô Mifune , Tatsuya Nakadai , Akira Kurosawa    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
Price: £8.06 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Sanjuro [1962] [DVD] + Seven Samurai [DVD] [1954] + Rashomon [1950] [Special Edition] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yûnosuke Itô, Yûzô Kayama
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Oct 2003
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000BZNJ6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,122 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



This semi-comic 1961 film by legendary director Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Ran) was inspired by the American Western genre. Kurosawa mainstay Toshirô Mifune (Seven Samurai) is cast as a drifting samurai for hire who plays both ends against the middle with two warring factions, surviving on his wits and his ability to outrun his own bad luck. Eventually the samurai seeks to eliminate both sides for his own gain and to define his own sense of honour. Yojimbo is striking for its unorthodox treatment of violence and morality, reserving judgment on the actions of its main character and instead presenting an entertaining tale with humour and much visual excitement. One of the inspirations for the "spaghetti westerns" of director Sergio Leone and later surfacing as a remake as Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis, this film offers insight into a director who influenced American films even as he was influenced by them. --Robert Lane,

Product Description

A film by Akira Kurosawa

In response to the huge critical and commercial success of Yojimbo, Kurosawa and Mifune re-teamed a year later to make Sanjuro, a hilarious comedy of manners altogether more light-hearted than its predecessor.

The plot has Sanjuro (Mifune) running lazy rings around nine naïve and clean-cut samurai and two genteel ladies while cleaning up a spot of corruption in local government. Kurosawa plays most of it for laughs by expertly parodying the conventions of Japanese period action movies, but in the very last scene he stages a starling switch of mood with an intense finale which may well be the briefest, and most breathtaking, duel in all cinema.

DVD extras; include introduction by Alex Cox and biographies of Kurosawa and Mifune.

Japan | 1962 | black & white | Japanese language with English subtitles | 95 minutes | Ratio 2.35:1 (16x9 anamorphic) | Region 2 DVD

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New print is very enjoyable 13 May 2004
When I read some reviews below I was thinking long time befor I decided to buy this DVD but finally I did. BFI has relased new print of 'Yojimbo' couple months ago and its really great edition, transfered in widescreen with digitaly remastered and clear picture. I've bought and I'm very proud of it in my collection.
The film is one of the Kurosawa's finest masterieces beside 'Rashomon' or 'The Seven Samurai' or 'Red Beard', and perfomance of Toshiro Mifune is perhaps best in his excellent career. Highly recommend.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The beginning of this tale, when our hero tosses a stick into the air to see which way it lands to choose his path, is just one of the many elements which makes this such an amazing story and one my favorites of Kurosawa's many masterpieces. What the bodyguard chooses to do first with his newfound independence is quite surprising and ambitious, like piecing together an amazingly complex jigsaw puzzle made of human nature, or staging a performance of an epic masterpiece with no previous management, production, or directing skills. But I guess he may as well tackle a mountain, since there is not much use starting small with his skills and personality. As he orchestrates the deception, our hero is much like a master puppeteer with exquisite timing and talent to incite the mayhem to achieve his goal.
While the basic theme of this story is not unique - the result of greed, manipulation of others, and the changing of the world (tradition vs. progression) - many factors add an interesting and unusual charm to this film. There are plots within plots, surprising deception, perfectly paced mounting tension, unpredictable plot twists, stories within stories, distinctive and amusing characters (the big guy with his huge mallet is a lot of fun), the seemingly never-ending face offs, backstabbing, character flaws; and our hero continually placed in the perfect position to observe, listen, and evaluate. Also, the bodyguard's impeccable timing in manipulation of both sides is nice, fulfilling our expectations and keeping the story moving along. What if bodyguards were really like this? (mischievous, brilliant, manipulative) The famous people of the world would be in terrible trouble.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely influential classic 18 Jan 2001
By A Customer
A drifter (Toshiro Mifune) walks into a small town run by two gangster involved in sordid gambling and prostitution. The loner decides enough is enough and takes the law into his own hands. Displaying his skill and quick-timing, with the samurai sword, both members in each gang fear him, but also, both leaders need him. Hence begins the stranger's complex plan, in which he sets the rival factions against each other. Akiro Kurosawa's classic, intelligently staged, Japanese western is memorable and is also majestic viewing. Full of action, drama and dark humour, they are all blended in with stunning results. Yes, like Seven Samurai, it is Kurosawa's celebration, to the westerns of America, and yes, like Seven Samurai was later remade as the Magnificent Seven, Yojimbo was honourably remade by Sergio Leone as 'A Fistful of Dollers', then by Walter Hill as 'Last man standing'
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupid people are dangerous 15 Mar 2006
The sequel to Akira Kurosawa's classic "Yojimbo" is very different in tone -- rather than a straightforward grizzled-anti-hero-cleans-up-the-town tale, it's a comic story about the grizzled hero getting stuck on a ship of fools. It's a a solid action/drama flick with plenty of comedy sprinkled in -- a brilliant parody of the sort of films that Kurosawa was famed for.

A gang of idealistic young nobles are gathered in a decaying house, talking about how they are trying to battle local corruption. Suddenly a scruffy warrior (Toshirô Mifune) who calls himself Sanjûrô Tsubaki, appears and tells them who is lying and who isn't -- and that after confiding in the treacherous superintendant, they're being set up for an ambush.

After he saves their butts and drags the none-too-bright young men into hiding, he begins concocting a plan to save one young man's uncle, who is being held as a political hostage. After rescuing the lord's wife and daughter, Sanjuro and his band of fools continue with their plots to save him from the evil superintendant -- and he teaches his bumbling co-conspirators that exalted social position isn't what keeps you alive...

Kurosawa isn't known for having made goofball comedies, and as comedies go, this is a pretty subtle one. But there's a definite comic flair to this film, from the pampered prisoner offering nuggets of wisdom to the silent "happy dance" that all the young noblemen do. At the same time, there's a poignant note to Sanjuro's regrets about the men he's killed -- including men much like himself.

Even steeped in comedy, Kurosawa's creativity is still intact -- to give the feel that people are running, he shows short, rapid shots of several young men running down different streets.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece - poorly transfered 16 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Undoubtably one of cinema's greatest works and the inspiration not just for Leone's 'A Fistful of Dollars' but a whole host of action films in years to come, none of which came close to topping this. A shame, then, that the film has been so poorly transfered to DVD - not only is it non-anamorphic (forgiveable, perhaps), but the picture is muddy and soft (unforgiveable) and, frankly, inferior to both of the VHS copies I already own. The film deserves so much better. On the plus side, the commentary track by Philip Kemp is consistently informative, and gets the disk 2 stars, but only just.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars cool A++++++++
great movie classic worth the money the fist fistful of dollars add to your collection , a great gift for a friend
Published 1 month ago by sam hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Toshiro Mifune is in a lot of Kurosawa's film, he is a brilliant actor who has also appeared in several other American films.
Published 3 months ago by catch the cat
5.0 out of 5 stars “Yojimbo” and “Sanjuro” on BLU RAY – Compatibility Issues On The ‘US’...
These 1961 and 1962 Akira Kurosawa Samurai films are presently only available on ‘BLU RAY’ in the States - “Yojimbo” on a single BLU RAY issue - and a further double that combines... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mark Barry
4.0 out of 5 stars Kurosawa Ups The Comedic Content
Amazon seems to have mixed up the reviews of Sanjuro and Yojimbo - for the avoidance of doubt this is a review of Sanjuro. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas present
The person who received this was delighted. He has watched it more than once and will then let me watch it.
Published 6 months ago by Eileen
5.0 out of 5 stars Yojimbo
The film which inspired Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western Collection is a must-see for all film fans. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Neilo
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT SATISFIED, ONE BIT !!!
As you have stated my name Bob Bray, & the Country, Australia that is as shown on your review request,you are aware of where I live,
Why then did I receive the 2 DVD's that DO... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bob Bray,,,,,,,,,,Australia
1.0 out of 5 stars So damn boring I fell asleep
This is so dull, get princess mononoke 'the best anime ever' instead , it has better action, amazing visuals, mixes fantasy with samurai well,better soundtrack and amazing. Read more
Published 7 months ago by andrew roe
4.0 out of 5 stars great film, wonky production?
this is a great film, weird & wonderful. japanese classics on BFI are always well done with good subtitles and production values but often discs are wonky: they freeze or skip and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Zangiku
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb version of Sanjuro
Excellent transfer to DVD, lots of old scratches removed and excellent sound.
The film itself is a follow up (or possibly a prequel) to Yojimbo, or as it is better known in... Read more
Published 22 months ago by G. M. J. Tomlinson
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