Yojimbo – 1961 – dir. Akira Kurosawa
It’s common Kurosawa knowledge that Japan’s greatest director was a huge fan of American westerns. The wandering warrior often casually walks into a village at war. What Kurosawa delivers in Yojimbo is a western all its own. Complete with stand offs, hostages and a local brewery, the film encompasses a variety of talents at work. Along with the usual duo of Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, Yojimbo exemplifies the valiant efforts that go on behind scenes, raising the film above most western/gangster stories to an experience so entertaining, it illustrates the significance it plays in later American cinema.