This is probably my favorite Kurosawa film, because in addition to being a brilliant action movie (a trait shared by Seven Samurai, Ran and Yojimbo), it's also very, very funny. "Sanjuro" is the nom de guerre of a wandering dispossessed samurai, the hero protagonist of Yojimbo. In this sequel to that movie, Sanjuro comes across a claque of true-hearted but somewhat dimwitted samurai who are planning to take a stand against official corruption in their village. When Sanjuro realizes that they've placed their faith in the wrong man and are about to be arrested, he steps in and starts running the show -- creating friction within the group, as some of the samurai trust him more than others do.
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The movie is full of humorous moments, from the bumbling of the samurai to the attempts of a couple of aristocratic ladies to teach rough and rude Sanjuro some manners. It also features a brilliantly inspired and effortlessly elegant climax the likes of which I don't think I've seen in any recent action movie. Sanjuro is a magnificent film, yet it's practically unknown, which is both amazing and unjust.
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