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Sanjuro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

A sloppy-looking samurai helps young warriors expose corrupt elders. Sequel to "Yojimbo." Directed by Akira Kurosawa.

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

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yuzo Kayama, Reiko Dan
    • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
    • 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.)
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: Unrated
    • Studio: Criterion
    • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2010
    • Run Time: 96 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00319HT9M
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,910 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Sanjuro (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    An absolutely delightful film about samurai's fight for honor. It is smart and funny. We learn about a group of young samurai who want to stop corruption in their clan. In preparation for their uprising they run into an outcast, seemingly unkept and not very polite samurai. For exchange of food, saki and a little bit of money, he offers this group of rebels his warrior help. While this group of young rebels has a fire in their belly to fight for the right cause, they are not particularly smart. It is really funny when in one moment our main character says to one of them: "Are you born in the year of Ox?" trying to depict young man's not so bright standing. We see japanese style sword fighing, but also battle of the wits. Film will keep you entertained to the end with its humor and humility. I absolutely recommend this film to anyone who enjoys foreign movies.
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    Format: DVD
    A group of eager, chivalrous, but young and inexperienced samurai find themselves marked for death by corrupt officials, but they are fortunate to make the acquaintance of Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune), the masterless samurai whose sense of honor and decency is masked by a gruff, sarcastic exterior. This film is played more for laughs than the previous "Yojimbo," but director Akira Kurosawa doesn't stint on the swordplay and suspense. Mifune is wonderful as always. Despite the comedy, the film's stunning finale makes quite a sobering and penetrating comment on the character of a man like Sanjuro.
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    "Sanjuro" may not match its predecessor in sheer virtuosity, but it's actually more fun, thanks to Mifune's comic scenery-chewing, and the innately humorous contrast between the clean, proper youths and their unlikely, unkempt protector. Sanjuro's savvy counsel to the virtuous but impulsive youths ("Things are not always what they seem") gets repeated and borne out through various developments which eventually help restore justice to the land. Bottom-line: In this entry, Mifune himself really warms to "Sanjuro," and as a result, so do we.
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    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 (Toshirô Mifune) who calls himself Sanjûrô 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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    Format: DVD
    Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) is a samurai movie based in the detective novels of Dashiell Hammett - particularly Red Harvest. Akira Kurosawa wanted to bring the best of literature and interpret it into Japanese cinema. Its interesting that the two main influences in this process were Hammett's hard-boiled detective fiction and William Shakespeare (Ran, Throne of Blood). The sequel, Sanjuro, is a departure of sorts from Yojimbo. Kurosawa and Mifune return as we find our nameless hero assisting some naive samurai who have been backed into a corner by corrupt officials in their clan. Played more for laughs but still brimming with cynicism and wonderfully orchestrated fights (the final scene will leave you afraid to blink), Sanjuro is a worthy but unusual follow-up to the cynical Yojimbo.

    Criterion did an excellent job with their recent re-release of Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, and it appears that they are giving the same treatment to both Yojimbo & Sanjuro. A new (and improved) translation, commentary from Steven Price, as well as documentary film focusing on Kurosawa during the time he was making these great movies. This review is modified from my review of the Yojimbo/Sanjuro double DVD pack, each movie is great, but I'd recommend picking up both.
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    Even the title is interesting, ichro is the first son and inherits all the property, nichro is the second son and normally helps his older brother manage the property, and sanjuro the third son is hung out to dry. In the movie the title character is wonderfully acted and the mixture of comedy and drama is well done. Sanjuro is very real and plot twists are very good indeed. The head of the village who is saved is a wonderful surprise and last scene is incredible. One of my all time Japanese movie favorates and having spent six years in Japan I have seen a few. Get it.
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