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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Original Theatrical Trailer with rare behind-the-scenes footage

Sanjuro

1999 Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Akira Kurosawa
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi, Yuzo Kayama, Reiko Dan, Takashi Shimura, Takako Irie, Yanosuke Ito
1962 | 96 Minutes | Licensor: Toho Co.

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #53 | Out of print
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: September 21, 1999
Review Date: December 20, 2010

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SYNOPSIS

Toshiro Mifune swaggers and snarls to brilliant comic effect in Kurosawa's tightly paced, beautifully composed Sanjuro. In this companion piece to Yojimbo, jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan's evil influences, and in the process turns their image of a "proper" samurai on its ear. Criterion is proud to present Sanjuro in a gorgeous Tohoscope transfer.

Forum members rate this film 7.8/10

 

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

For their original DVD edition of Kurosawa’s Sanjuro, Criterion presents the film in the aspect ratio of about 2.35:1 on this single-layer disc. The image has not been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

Surprisingly the condition of the print used for this film is in better shape than what was used for Yojimbo, presenting fewer scratches and marks. Unfortunately I think the digital transfer is a little more problematic, or the look of the film is less friendly. Artifacts are a little more noticeable here, especially shimmering effects because of the patterns on some of the outfits worn in the film. Jagged edges also seem to a little more problematic. Contrast is on and off, sometimes looking fairly spot on, others looking to be a little boosted.

The image also may be a little sharper than what was present on the original Yojimbo DVD, but not by much. In all it has some advantages over its companion release, but is maybe a little more problematic in the actual transfer.

4/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

Similar to the mono track found on Yojimbo the audio still has some damage present in the background, and can come off edgy and harsh. Not pretty but similar to what I said for Yojimbo it could be worse.

4/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The only notable feature is a theatrical trailer that at least includes some behind-the-scenes footage, showing Kurosawa at work. But this obviously doesn’t make up for the lack of anything else. An essay by Michael Sragow is included in the insert that makes for a decent read but isn’t too in-depth.

Similarly to Yojimbo Criterion did revisit the film for DVD and Blu-ray, adding on more features like a commentary and a documentary.

1/10

CLOSING

Like their original DVD for Yojimbo this edition of Sanjuro is weak and leaves a lot to be desired. I’m pleased Criterion revisited the film and greatly improved upon this edition.


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