(Watch the Trailer)
A 1961 Japanese classic film directed by Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) and a must see for all film buffs. This film was remade in 1964 as A Fistful of Dollars, one of the more popular classic Clint Eastwood westerns.
A lone samurai comes across a town where two rival gangs fight for power over the gambling business. The samurai turns the two gangs against each other in an attempt to have them kill each other off so the town can start over but the gangs begin to suspect him of his plan.
While this movie is longer than your average film I neither found it boring or drawn out. It beautifully combines the western look with the Japanese cinema feel and makes for one amazing film.
The lone samurai character, played by Toshirō Mifune, is mysterious and powerful. He sits there quietly watching the towns people and musing over the situation and then it comes to sword play and he kills 6 guys in under a minute. I loved watching this character and I think he made the movie.
I liked the little character actors: the ridiculous mayor, the goofy eyebrowed bad guy, the old and wise restaurant owner, the wide eyed and intense boss - all so amazing.
Something I was surprised by and absolutely loved was how amazing the music was. Each scene seemed like it had its own hand crafted sound. I liked listening to this movie just as much as watching it. Although the cinematography was stunning too.
Like I said, this is a must see for any movie buff. It does have a western feel to it but it's not a western. It may be in black and white but it is anything but slow and drawn out. The story is deep and the movie is constantly building all the way until the credits roll. Glad I finally got around to watching it!