YOJIMBO (the bodyguard) (1961 JAPAN) D/W/P: AKIRA KUROSAWA W: RYUZO KIKUSHIMA
This influential masterpiece stars Toshiro Mifune as a lone wandering samurai who gets caught in a war between two gangs when he arrives in a small miserable town. He plays them off against each other, righ through to the superb tragi-comic ending. Everything is first-class, including Kazuo Miyagawa`s b/w cinematography (he also shot RASHOMON), Yoshiro Muraki`s set design, the score from Masaru Sato and Kurosawa`s editing. Tatsuya Nakadai co-stars as a man with a a gun. The rest of the cast is filled with those amazing faces Kurosawa liked so much. One of the handful of movies everyone should see. A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS was the first major movie to copy it, countless others followed and Walter Hill`s LAST MAN STANDING "officialy" re-used the script. YOJIMBO itself was probably influenced by Dashiel Hammett`s novel Red Harvest. With Yoko Tsukasa, Isuzu Yamada, Dauske Kato, Seizaburo Kawazu, Takashi Shimura, Hiroshi Tashikawa, Yosuke Natsuki, Eijiro Tono, Kamatari Fujiwara, Ikio Sawamura, Susumu Fujita, Ko Nishimura, Takeshi Kato, Ichiro Nakaya, Sachio Sakai, Akira Tani, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Gen Shimizu, Yutaka Sada, Shoichi Hirose, Senkichi Moura and Nadao Kirino. Mifune`s character returned in SANJURO.

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