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Sanjuro: Remastered Edition (The Criterion Collection)

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Additional Features

The Criterion Collection's 2007 disc is a must-have for any serious cinephile. The film is presented with an all-new, fully restored high-definition digital transfer, representing (as in the case of Seven Samurai) a significant improvement over Criterion's previous DVD release. It features a full-length commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince (with eloquent emphasis on camera movement and composition) in addition to a retrospective documentary culled from the priceless Japanese Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, featuring illuminating interviews with many of Kurosawa's closest collaborators. A theatrical trailer and behind-the-scenes photo gallery are also included, along with new-and-improved subtitles, insightful booklet essays, and rarely seen production notes by Kurosawa and members of his cast and crew. With this reissue, Criterion's previous release of Sanjuro should now be considered officially obsolete. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • All-new, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Optional Dolby Digital 3.0 soundtrack, preserving the original Perspecta simulated-stereo effects
  • Audio commentary by film historian and Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
  • A 35-minute documentary on the making of Sanjuro, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Theatrical trailer and teaser
  • Stills gallery of behind-the-scenes photos
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Sragow and notes and statements from Kurosawa and his cast and crew

Product Details

  • Actors: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yûnosuke Itô, Yûzô Kayama
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Ryûzô Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, Shûgorô Yamamoto
  • Producers: Ryûzô Kikushima, Tomoyuki Tanaka
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 3.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000K0YM0O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,324 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sanjuro: Remastered Edition (The Criterion Collection)" 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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