6 of the BEST Samurai Movies for Ghost of Tsushima (and Shogun) Fans

6 of the BEST Samurai Movies for Ghost of Tsushima (and Shogun) Fans

Yojimbo Poster and Movie Still Photo

2. Yojimbo (1961)

Like Seven Samurai, Yojimbo was also remade into a famous Western film, this one titled A Fistful of Dollars starring Clint Eastwood.

Toshirô Mifune, who I mentioned above, impressed me to no end when I watched Yojimbo  (which translates as “bodyguard”) because he was so different to his character in Seven Samurai that I almost didn’t recognise him. While he was an adventure-seeking nutcase in Seven Samurai, Yojimbo has him playing a calm, collected and very cool Ronin who finds himself in the middle of a war between two factions in a small village.

The fun really comes from the fact that he decides to play them against each other, by hiring out his allegiance (and skills) to the highest bidder. His character very much feels like some of the inspiration for Han Solo, as you slowly realise that his cool, uncaring exterior is actually housing a very good heart.

There’s a lot to love in this film, but nothing that comes close to its exquisite cinematography. The use of clearly defined dark and light shades completely transformed my understanding and appreciation for black and white film. I can easily count nearly a dozen shots from this film that would go well on the wall as a mounted still photo. \\

The other powerful element which is a Kurosawa trademark, is his use of weather and the elements to bring motion to his scenes and mimic the tone of the story or intentions of a character. Highly relevant in that Kurosawa Mode will not only mimic the black and white, grainy style of these films, but it actually uses the wind to direct you to your objectives and makes it even more pronounced while in the mode.

Yojimbo cinematography

Look at this incredible shot. Just look at it.

Out of all the films I watched, I found that Yojimbo was maybe the most charming of the bunch. This was in small part due to the incredible presence that Mifune was able to bring to his scenes.