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Yojimbo [1961] [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa, Isuzu Yamada
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Format: PAL, Black & White
  • 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: PG
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Nov. 2000
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000050GPF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,324 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

YOJIMBO
A film Akira Kurosawa

Like Seven Samurai, Yojimbo was Kurosawa's tribute to the widescreen action Westerns of John Ford, and was itself remade as a Western stolen back lock, stock and barrel by Sergio Leone for A Fistful of Dollars.

The enigmatic samurai in Yojimbo is played by the great Toshiro Mifune (much admired by Clint Eastwood who cites the film as a personal favourite) as a scruffy, scratching, itinerant warrior who wanders into a strange town and right into the middle of two warring clans. Showing his skills with the samurai sword within minutes of his arrival, he soon has the town's rival factions competing for his services.

Kurosawa's genius for storytelling combines with thrilling swordplay, a healthy dose of black humour, a soundtrack every bit as atmospheric and amusing as Ennio Morricone's, and a towering performance from Mifune, to make Yojimbo an irresistible widescreen action movie.

Digitally mastered from a new print, this DVD release features a full-length commentary option by film historian Philip Kemp, plus on-screen biographies of Kurosawa and Mifune.

Japan | 1961 | black & white | Japanese language with English subtitles | 106 minutes | Ratio 2.35:1

Region 2 DVD

From Amazon.co.uk

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, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
Although it lacks the scope of THE SEVEN SAMURAI, THRONE OF BLOOD, and other more widely known films by the celebrated Akira Kurosawa, the 1961 YOJIMBO (also known as BODYGUARD) is one of the most important films of the second half of the 20th Century--and a film that was deeply influenced by American film. Even so, YOJIMBO stands on its own merits: it's a magnificent piece of cinema that will fascinate even those who normally turn up their noses at "movies with subtitles."
In theory, the film is based on the 1929 Dashiell Hammett novel RED HARVEST--but transports the basic story to a period in Japan when the Samurai class has fallen on hard times and must seek employment as common body guards. Sanjuro Kuwabatake (brilliantly played by Toshiro Mifune, who appeared in several Kurosawa films) is such a one, a scruffy looking and aging warrior who finds himself caught between warring factions of a Japanese village and responds by playing the two against each other.
One of the film's greatest assets is its visual style. Kurosawa is very clearly influenced by the look of the American western here, and most particularly so, in my opinion, by HIGH NOON. Consequently, YOJIMBO leaps the cultural divide with considerable ease--but Kurosawa uses the images of empty streets and the lone warrior to considerably different effect, presenting him as a dangerous figure who emerges from the dust and the wind to rip wide his foes. But the film does not rely on visual style alone: there is plenty of hard substance here, too. The plot is tightly wound, action-intensive, and laced with a dry and very black humor, and the cast is superlative throughout.
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By A Customer on 18 Jan. 2001
Format: DVD
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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