The Movies-To-Watch List: Yojimbo (1961)

I don’t know what I was expecting from Yojimbo. I’d never seen a Kurosawa film before, and it seemed like a good place to start. I knew he was influenced by westerns and my experience with that genre is pretty sparse (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly didn’t do much for me). I guess I thought this would be a moody period piece.

I was not prepared for the amount of humor in it. I wasn’t prepared for the jazzy soundtrack. I wasn’t prepared for the lighthearted subtitling (I loved it when Inokichi says of the Samurai, “He’s tough as hell!”) I figured the movie would be good; I didn’t realize it would be so much fun.

And of course, Toshirô Mifune is fantastic in it. As with Kurosawa himself, this is someone whose work I’d always heard glowing descriptions of, and it was a treat to finally see it for myself.

I am completely ready to see more Kurosawa. I know I’m well behind on this, but I’m glad to finally start catching up.

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And that completes 2014’s Movies to Watch list, only a little bit behind schedule. This was a fun activity and I’m looking forward to diving into the 2015 list.

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