Golden Lion
Venice Film Festival
Rousing, good story, told with vigor and visual excitement by Akira Kurosawa, and splendidly acted by Toshiro Mifune.



Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: laemmle.com/ac.
YOJIMBO (1962)
Wednesday, April 19, at 7 PM at three locations: Royal, Town Center in Encino, Playhouse in Pasadena. Presented on Blu-ray.

Laemmle Theatres and Anniversary Classics Abroad present a 55th anniversary screening of Akira Kurosawa’s YOJIMBO, a vivid tongue-in-cheek samurai Western. Kurosawa’s favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, plays an amoral samurai in 19th century Japan. In a setup reminiscent of many classic Westerns (
Shane in particular), Mifune’s Sanjuro strides into town and tries to reconcile a battle between two warring factions. But in this case both of the gangs are equally corrupt, and our hero is no more upright. He eventually wreaks havoc on all the combatants. The sword fights have visceral force, and the violence is always leavened with humor. As Pauline Kael wrote, “YOJIMBO is a glorious comedy-satire of force… explosively comic and exhilarating.”

The film also proved to be enormously influential to a later generation of filmmakers. It inspired another perfectly amoral Western, Sergio Leone’s
A Fistful of Dollars, in which Clint Eastwood’s The Man With No Name became the spaghetti Western equivalent of the cheeky samurai killer. Later directors Walter Hill and Quentin Tarantino also cited YOJIMBO as an influence.

This screening is the second installment in our Anniversary Classics Abroad series, presented on the third Wednesday of each month. It will be followed by Pietro Germi’s
Divorce Italian Style on May 17 and Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night on June 21.
Not Rated
Action, Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Anniversary Classics
Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai
Nominee, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival

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