yojimbo-thinking

Today in Movie History: September 13

After the immortal Seven Samurai, the Akira Kurosawa movie that most influenced western filmmakers is probably Yojimbo: the story of a scruffy, amoral ronin (Toshiro Mifune, natch) who wanders into a town beset by rival gangs, and solves the problem by methodically pitting them against each other. Kurosawa was inspired by the Dashiell Hammett novel Red Harvest, and his work served as the basis …

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Today in Movie History: January 15

Riddle me this, Caped Crusader: how do you produce the greatest Shakespeare adaptation of all time without using a single line of Shakespeare? You give it to Akira Kurosawa, that’s how. Throne of Blood — his magnificent, peerless, stunningly powerful samurai version of Macbeth — opened in Japan this day in 1957. The great Toshiro Mifune turned in one of numerous …

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Today in Movie History: November 19

Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai hit U.S. theaters in 1956, giving us a chance to see the master’s brilliant Eastern-Western mash-up that influenced everything from The Magnificent Seven to Star Wars to A Bug’s Life. For a more recent example of plucky underdogs facing an overwhelming task, the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released five years …