in about 100 words or less
Japan 96m, B&W
Director: Akira Kurosawa; Cast: Toshirō Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yuzo Kayama
In reprising his role as the “man with no name” Toshirō Mifune is brilliant once again as the eccentric wandering Samurai-for-hire. The plot centers on the rescue of a government official and his family by a group of nine very inexperienced Samurai, who would fail, if not for the help of the more experienced Samurai known as “Tsubaki Sanjūrō” – meaning “Thirty year-old Camellia Tree”, a name he invents for himself and a running joke from Yojimbo, where he is known as “Thirty year-old Mulberry Field”. The film’s final moments include the most visually influential scene in Samurai genre – a swift sword duel ending in a fountain of blood which style influenced many subsequent martial arts films, including the very entertaining and influential Lone Wolf and Cub series (Klaus Ming January 2011).