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Sanjuro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1962)

Yji Oda , Makoto Fujita , Akira Kurosawa  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yji Oda, Makoto Fujita, Shin'y Fujiwara, Tsuyoshi Hayashi, Ichitaro
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writers: Hideo Oguni, Ryz Kikushima, Shgor Yamamoto
  • Producers: Akihiko sugi, Haruki Kadokawa, Hiroshi Hayakawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00319HT9M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,318 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sanjuro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

Restored high-definition digital transfers
  • Optional DTS-HD Master Audio Perspecta 3.0 soundtrack
  • Audio commentaries by film historian Stephen Prince
  • Documentary on the making of Sanjuro
  • Theatrical trailer and teasers
  • Stills galleries
  • PLUS: Booklets featuring essays by film writers

  • Editorial Reviews

    Toshiro Mifune swaggers and snarls to brilliant comic effect in Akria Kurosawa's tightly paced, beautifully composed SANJURO. In this sly companion piece to Yojimbo, the jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan's evil influences, and in the process turns their image of a: proper, samurai on its ear. Less brazen in tone than its predecessor but equally entertaining, this classic character's return is a masterpiece in its own right.

    Customer Reviews

    3.8 out of 5 stars
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    3.8 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Sanjuurou (Blu-ray) April 2, 2010
    Format:Blu-ray
    Movie - 4.5

    Alright, my third Kurosawa film! Here we have the continuing adventures of Sanjuurou in the self-titled movie, which amply reflects a good majority of the elements that made Youjimbou so successful. We're essentially presented with the same mix of comedy and drama (albeit, of a lighter nature), tantalizing swordplay (much bloodier), and a still very appealing protagonist, though not quite to the magnitude of its predecessor. However, what Sanjuurou lacks in overall bravado, it makes up for in some great character development and complexity. After listening to the very insightful commentary, I found that a lot of the elements in this movie helped to fill some of the character gaps and actually compliment Sanjuurou to make him a more complete person. Furthermore, the screenplay also differentiates itself from the previous film with the whole "unsheathed sword" analogy and its message on the brutality of violence, as opposed to its necessity in the former, and its focus on traditionalism, as opposed to Youjimbou's take on modernism. Instead of glorifying the bloodshed we were led to believe as a necessary, almost obligatory, catalyst for change in the first film, we learn here that even if killing is required, living with it is the hardest part of all. We're also exposed to the softer side of Sanjuurou here, as seen in his interactions with the rebel samurai. His brash and eccentric nature has always been a part of his charisma, though we get to see him display a little more compassion, maybe even a kind of paternal instinct for those young men. This complimentary piece to the tale of Sanjuurou is much more light-hearted, but at the same time adds a more intimate and subtle look to the man.

    Video - 4.
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    6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars 30-year-old camellia December 22, 2009
    Format:Blu-ray
    He's a nameless, grizzled man who wanders through 1800s Japan. Think Clint Eastwood with a topknot.

    And 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 unnamed hero getting stuck on a ship of fools, and having to unravel a small-time political conspiracy. While it's Kurosawa's lightest samurai movie, it's still a solid action/drama flick with plenty of comedy sprinkled in.

    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 (Toshir Mifune) who calls himself Sanjr Tsubaki (basic translation -- 30-year-old camellia... going on forty), 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 -- he tended more towards action and tragedy -- but there's a definite comic flair to "Sanjuro," from the pampered prisoner offering nuggets of wisdom ("Get back in the closet!" one of his captors yells) to the silent "happy dance" that all the young noblemen do.
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    0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars sequel that detracts more than adds March 23, 2014
    Format:Blu-ray
    Yojimbo is one of my favorite films. It has a great character at the center, who wades into a faction-ridden city and plays them off of one another, at one point falling into their hands and barely escaping with his life in so much pain he has to crawl out. He is alone, yet acts like a general, manipulating people in a very dangerous game. By contrast, in Sanjuro, he acts more like a disinterested chess player, dispensing sage advice, sitting back to watch the fireworks, improvising quickly but never really in much danger, even his confinement is lackadaisical and without dramatic tension. The character is consistent, but nothing much of interest - aside perhaps from the theme of "keeping the sword sheathed" - is added. Even the milieu he chooses to fight in, a power grab of aristocratic factions is less fun than the warring town bosses in Yojimbo, particularly in view that those he chooses to champion in Sanjuro are pampered twits who keep throwing his plans off track if they do anything on their own initiative. In Sanjuro, he never loses his cool, but maintains a strict control over everything, with little human seeming to peep out.

    I hate to say it, but I don't think Kurosawa had anything much to say in this film. I would recommend renting it, given the inflated price, and that only for aficionados, not the general viewer.
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    0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars An very entertaining film! January 18, 2013
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    I love all the works of Akira Kurosawa and his collaboration with Toshiro Mifune. I have always found
    this movie to be fun to watch. The acting is great and their are some funny lines throughout. A most
    entertaining film.
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