Akira Kurosawa's masterly black comedy/samurai film YOJIMBO stars Toshiro Mifune in a career-defining role (which he would reprise in Kurosawa's SANJURO) as a mercenary ronin
(a masterless samurai) caught between two rival gangs vying for control of a small town in 1860 Japan. With
Mifune's tongue-in-cheek performance and the wildly stylized battle scenes featuring mallet and pistol-wielding samurai, YOJIMBO may just be the first post-modern samurai film. Kurosawa draws on the traditions of American Westerns (such as SHANE and HIGH NOON), showing a lone stranger coming to
the rescue as dust blows across the village's empty main street and the frightened citi...