Yōjinbō 用心棒: In the late 19th century, a lone rōnin Samurai arrives at a small town that is torn and terrorized by a war between competing crime gangs. Masterwork direction from Akira Kurosawa in one of his most influential films.
A marvelous jidaigeki (‘period piece’) film, set in the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate and Edo period in Japanese history.
Characteristic expression and blocking, on-motion editing in the notorious manner of the director. Memorable scenes and shots throughout the movie.
Toshiro Mifune plays one of his most iconic roles, together with other Kurosawa regulars such as Tatsuya Nakadai, Takashi Shimura and Eijirō Tōno.
Yojimbo, as well as it’s sequel film Sanjuro (1962) played a significant role in the development of cinema, most specifically in the new Western/Spaghetti Western genre. Ideas and themes were well adapted in Western cinema in the years following – including Sergio Leone’s famed remake of this film, A Fistful of Dollars (1964) starring Clint Eastwood, and the loose thematic interpretation in Sergio Corbucci’s Django (1966) starring Franco Nero.
Kurosawa himself was influenced in the making of this film by the novels of Dashiell Hammett, as well as the 1942 film noir based on one of them – The Glass Key.