A Japanese movie, released in 1962 as a sequel to the wildly popular Yojimbo.
Release year: 1962
Format: Tohoscope (a Cinemascope clone), B&W, 96 min.
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Cast: Toshiro Mifune (Sanjuro "Tsubaki")
Tatsuya Nakadai (Hanbei Muroto)
Yuzo Kayama (Iiro Izaka, leader of the Samurai)
Akihiko Hirata, Kunie Tanaka, Hiroshi Tachikawa,
Tatsuhiko Hari, Tatsuya Ehara, Toshio Tsuchiya,
Akira Kubo, Kenzo matsur (samurai)
Keiju Kobayashi (captured samurai in closet),
Takashi Shimura (Kurofuji),
Masao Shimizu (Inspector Kikui),
Yunosuke Ito (Chamberlain Mutsuta),
Takako Ireie (Mutsuta's wife),
Reiko Dan (Chidori),
Sachio Sakai (guard at gate),
Toranosuke Ogawa, yutaka Sada, Shin Otomo.
Source: Based on a Tsubaki Sanjuro story by Shugoro Yamamoto
Some of the plot. With giveaways and completely personal rantings.
Our hero, a ronin, is resting in a countryside shed when
he overhears a gathering of ten younger samurais, planning to take the law in
their own hands against corruption. They accuse the Chamberlain
of laxitude, while they praise the Superintendent, who promised them his
support and told them to gather at this place.
The ronin reveals himself to the conspirors, and in a few
sentences shows them that they have a poor understanding of the situation,
and that while the Chamberlain is likely to have good control of the local
villains, the samurais themselves are being manipulated by the Superintendent.
Soon it is clear that the Superintendent aims to sneakly slay the group
before they manage to start the riot, and that the shed is indeed surrounded by the Superintendent's men.
The ronin takes control of the situation
and, with a coolness that too many cinematic tough guys since made sorry
attempts to imitate in movies with insane hero-to-enemy-casualties ratios (see the likes of Clint Eastwood or even *shudder* Sly
Stallone), he single-handedly compels a couple of hundreds of enemy samurais to retreat.
This is the anfang of a classic story of an impossibly outnumbered gang of
good guys fighting the forces of evil, and, I won't spoil it for you,
standing a good chance to prevail because they are so righteous and naive.
This movie is a work of art. As such it will never grow old.
It is hard to
believe that most of the people that brought it about already did their dance