SANJURO
TSUBAKI SANJURO
1962, Janus Films, 96 min, Japan, Dir: Akira Kurosawa

Director Akira Kurosawa helms this YOJIMBO sequel, utilizing Shugoro Yamamoto’s novel Peaceful Days as a model. Wandering ronin Sanjuro (Toshiro Mifune) decides to help a young samurai (Yuzo Kayama) and his brash cohorts when Kayama’s uncle (Yunosuke Ito), the chamberlain of their clan, is framed by a corrupt superintendent. Much of the humor and character interplay is based on Mifune’s scruffy appearance and the seeming contradiction – at least to the adolescent proper swordsmen – of his consummate, strategic skill. Tatsuya Nakadai is the prime adversary, a proud samurai in the superintendent’s employ who’s every bit as dangerous as Mifune. There’s not nearly as much swordplay here as in YOJIMBO – since the war is mainly one of words and subterfuge – but when the final burst of violence erupts courtesy of Mifune and Nakadai, it’s a dazzling shocker. In Japanese with English subtitles.


YOJIMBO
1961, Janus Films, 110 min, Japan, Dir: Akira Kurosawa

Toshiro Mifune plays Sanjuro, a shiftless ronin (samurai without a master) who wanders into a starving village beset by a yakuza gang war. Sanjuro plays the battling sects off against one another and nearly gets himself killed in the process. In Japanese with English subtitles.


1941 (EXTENDED EDITION)
1979, Universal/Columbia, 146 min, USA, Dir: Steven Spielberg

In the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, wayward Japanese submarines, unidentified aircraft and accidental explosions put Los Angeles into a state of panic in director Steven Spielberg’s first feature comedy, co-written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale (BACK TO THE FUTURE) and inspired by actual events. As Captain Wild Bill Kelso, John Belushi leads an all-star cast including Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Candy, Christopher Lee, Toshirō Mifune, Robert Stack and many more. The restored Extended Edition adds 28 minutes to this cult favorite along with a full 5.1 Dolby Surround sound mix.


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