Director: Akira Kurosawa / Cast: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa, Isuzu Yamada etc. / Year of Production: 1961 / Country: Japan / Runtime: 110 min. / Language: Japanese / Subtitles: Czech, English / 12+
What do Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars and The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner have in common? Both films pay homage to a masterpiece of Japanese cinema by the one and only Akira Kurosawa – the former, in fact, as a remake. Kurosawa’s legendary action film masterfully works with elements of westerns and gangster films, set in nineteenth-century Japan. It tells of the wanderings of the samurai Sanjuro, a hired killer who cunningly pretends to “serve two masters” in a town suffering under the rule of warring clans (any similarities to Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters are certainly no coincidence, although the film is actually an adaptation of the Dashiell Hammett novel Red Harvest). The film, which Francis Ford Coppola called one of the ten most important works of cinema of all time, stars the amazing Toshiro Mifune, who died twenty-five years ago this December.