Tsubaki Sanjûrô (1962)
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This is a brilliant movie, like a spaghetti western and a James Bond film wrapped in a kimono. I can see why it's on the 60s list, it just oozes with that 60s bravado and charm. Kurosawa is just plain brilliant, all his films are so well put together. The actors are all great, the editing is done very well, the music is so great, even something light like this film is damn near perfect. Kurosawa was a brilliant craftsman and very careful about how he put his films together even the small ones.
I like this one more, even though Yojimbo is generally rated higher.
Although I prefer Yojimbo on the whole (mainly because that plot is so fantastic - justly ripped off numerous times since) it's terrific to see Mifune reprising his role as the morally conflicted, permanently yawning and scratching wanderer who also happens to be the deadliest man alive with a katana. It's brilliantly paced with a great balance of astonishing action sequences and the building of tension. I was more delighted though to find just how funny this film is though - in particular the captured guard popping in and out of the cupboard to offer his opinion is absolutely priceless. Another superb Kurosawa in a career of wonders.
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In 9 official lists
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This movie ranks #10 in Patrick Galloway's guide to samurai films
This movie ranks #26 in Action
This movie ranks #26 in 1960s
This movie ranks #48 in Thriller
This movie ranks #49 in Crime
This movie ranks #53 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #68 in Kinema Junpo Top Japanese Films
This movie ranks #524 in Doubling the Canon
This movie ranks #749 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made