Later to be remade as 'A Fistful Of Dollars' this story of the Samurai-with-no-name is quite simply one of the best action/adventure films ever made. Donning his sword again, Toshiro Mifune (he was the 'crazy' one of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai) allows fate to lead him into a strange town.
Showing his prowess with the Samurai sword within minutes of arrival, the town's two rival factions are soon competing for his services, only to ultimately bring about their own mutual destruction.
Combining the frisson of film noir with the action of the Samurai epic, and a healthy black humour underlying the whole, Kurosawa'a genius for storytelling is here at its best. There is also an extraordinary score from Masaru Sato which provides a stirring counterpoint to the action.
"This semi-comic 1961 film by legendary director Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Ran) was inspired by the American Western genre. Kurosawa mainstay Toshirô Mifune (The Seven Samurai) plays a drifting samurai for hire who plays both ends against the middle with two warring factions, surviving on his wits and his ability to outrun his own bad luck. Eventually the samurai seeks to eliminate both sides for his own gain and to define his own sense of honor. Yojimbo is striking for its unorthodox treatment of violence and morality, reserving judgment on the actions of its main character and instead presenting an entertaining tale with humor and much visual excitement. One of the inspirations for the "spaghetti Westerns" of director Sergio Leone and later surfacing as a remake as Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis, this film offers insight into a director who influenced American films even as he was influenced by them." --Robert Lane