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Kurosawa's classic 1962 sequel to Yojimbo

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
Page Hall, UAlbany downtown campus
135 Western Avenue, Albany
Free and open to the public

(Japan, 1962, 96 minutes, b/w)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

With Sanjuro, and its earlier companion piece Yojimbo (1961), influential director Akira Kurosawa invented a certain breed of cynical, untrustworthy hero who would live on in numberless action films throughout the world.

A jaded, lazy older warrior, played by movie legend Toshiro Mifune, agrees to mentor a group of inexperienced samurai in their battles with corrupt clan leaders.

Vili Maunula, posting on the fan site, wrote "While Yojimbo had been funny, it was also dark, gritty and at times grotesque. Sanjuro, in comparison, is much lighter, brighter, relaxed and openly humorous. It is also a more direct samurai film, with less influence from the likes of John Ford and Dashiell Hammett. Sanjuro is in fact perfectly summed up by Stuart Galbraith IV, who in his Kurosawa-Mifune biography writes that it “is a lightweight film, but as lightweight films go, it is something of a masterpiece.”

Sanjuro holds a 100 rating on and in his 1963 New York Times review, Bosley Crowther wrote, "[Kurosawa] has given us in Sanjuro a surprising, fetching, beautifully made film that fitly propounds the lesson of his own professionalism 'Never send a boy to do a man's work.'"

Sanjuro movie poster

Classic Film Series


Toshiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa on the set of Seven Samurai in 1954.


The actor and director collaborated on 16 films between 1948 and 1965, including Rashomon, Sanjuro and Throne of Blood, an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Macbeth." (Associated Press)

About The Classic Film Series

The NYS Writers Institute’s Classic Film Series, presented with support from Marc Guggenheim, UAlbany Class of ‘92, features screenings of domestic and international films of distinction and film festivals devoted to the work of particular directors, producers, or screenwriters.

The series has included rare films culled from archives and private collections, pre-release screenings from major studios, contemporary international offerings, as well as classics made in the U.S. The Institute will launch the Albany Film Festival in March 2020.


Classic Film Series

Some of the filmmakers and screenwriters who have visited the Institute have included Hal Ashby, Hector Babenco, Costa-Gavras, Tomas Gutierrez-Alea, James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, Neil Jordan, Spike Lee, Albert Mayseles, Gordon Parks, Sr., Raoul Peck, D.A. Pennebacker and Chris Hegedus, Bob Rafelson, Phil Alden Robinson, Wallace Shawn, Ron Shelton, Christine Vachon, Agnes Varda, and Robert Wise, and Doug Wright.

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