ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

Japan, 79m, B&W
Director: Akira Kurosawa; Cast: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Susumu Fujita, Yukiko Todoroki, Ryunosuke Tsukigata, Takashi Shimura

Sanshiro Sugata is Akira Kurosawa’s brilliant directorial debut. This dramatic martial arts/coming of age film is based on Tsuneo Tomita’s novel of the same name which follows a young man known as Sanshiro who travels into the city to learn Jujutsu. Upon his arrival he discovers Judo and after receiving training he eventually enters a mixed martial arts competition which dramatizes the rivalry between the two disciplines. This is a beautifully made, carefully paced, and thoughtful film. Although 17 minutes of the film was lost to wartime censorship in 1944 (as it was criticized for being too American/British in style), the full story of Sanshiro Sugata unfortunately remains somewhat disjointed, despite the attempted explanation through the use of intertitles (Klaus Ming January 2011).

One comment on “Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

  1. Klaus
    01/03/2011

    The first film from my Akira Kurosawa (AK 100) birthday box set!

    http://www.criterion.com/boxsets/678-ak-100-25-films-by-akira-kurosawa

    …24 to go!

    Plus, thanks to Greta for the suggested corrections to my initial review. I have to stop trying to compose these things after midnight on a work day!

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This entry was posted on 01/03/2011 by in 1940s, All, Unlisted and tagged .
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