Yojimbo (1961) IMDb

Categorization

Action playing around with its hero. Some comedy.

Subject

A nameless warrior hires himself out to fight in a town where the mob has split up in two factions. He fools both, for a while.

Commentary

The failure is nice, but only temporary.

Japanese production fiction moving picture

Sequel:

Sanjuro (1962) IMDb

Categorization

Lighter adventure. Instead of post-feudal corruption, there’s just a hint of melancholy at the sealed fate of the old adventurers, and a huge orgasmic spray to mark one of the world’s last proper deaths.

Subject

Ten idealistic samurai unwittingly stride towards their meaningless death, saved only and repeatedly by a nameless, grumpy bum with great wisdom and fantastic sword skills. A well-mannered lady who knows how to enjoy a haystack describes him well.

Commentary

The structure of this one feels more original, perhaps because it hasn’t been imitated as often as the original. Based on a book though. The original title, Tsubaki Sanjuurou, is presented in the story as a fake name. The surname means “camelia” and the given name, which is the English-language release’s title, means “thirty years old”.

Japanese production fiction moving picture

Remake:

A Fistful of Dollars (1964) IMDb

Categorization

Western, of the especially mythological yet relatively amoral kind produced by Italians in Spain, at a time when Westerns like that had to be credited to Anglicized pseudonyms. More stylish than Yojimbo.

Subject

A cornerstone of Clint Eastwood’s claim to fame. In large part because of his choices, this film and its sequels are considered a trilogy.

fiction moving picture

Generally considered a sequel:

For a Few Dollars More (1965) IMDb

Extent

I saw it in 4:3 format, which looked terrible.

Categorization

Properly credited and more original.

Subject

Rival bounty hunters clash in attempt to bring in a notorious criminal, traumatized by his past, dead.

fiction moving picture

Often considered a prequel:

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) IMDb

Categorization

The package is complete, with the addition of a brilliant score.

Subject

Three men quest for eight hidden bags of gold coins, as Union soldiers press further south in 1862.

Commentary

High on anachronisms and technical implausibility, mercifully low on dubbing (though not free of it).

fiction moving picture