Two sisters, one a dancer and the other a script supervisor at a big movie studio, become embroiled in union activities when a strike is called in sympathy with striking railroad workers, ... See full summary »
Sanshiro, a strong stubborn youth, comes to the city to apprentice at a jujitsu school. His first night, he sees Yano in action, a master of judo, a more spiritual art, and he begs to be Yano's student. As the youth learns technique, he must also learn "satori," the calm acceptance of Nature's law. If he can balance strength and control, then judo may become the training regimen for the city's police, Sanshiro can gain respect from an old teacher in a jujitsu school, and he can win the hand of Sayo, that teacher's daughter, who is also sought by jujitsu's finest master, the implacable Higaki, who vows to kill Sanshiro in a midnight fight on a windswept mountainside.Written by
Although originally released in Japan at 97 minutes, it was re-edited and re-released in Japan in 1952 at 80 minutes. This 80-minute version is all that is currently available, and it includes some slight changes in the film's structure as well as its running time. See more »
First and foremost, in order to appreciate this film, one must face the fact that it is largely incomplete, due to the censorship of the time. Having that into consideration, you will most likely enjoy the film for what it is. Besides, if you are acquainted with Kurosawa's work, then you should not doubt giving this a try.
The outstanding, mind-blowing camera-work that Kurosawa is known for is in a huge development process here, on account of this being his first work; however, even though not yet in a full-fledged form, everything that is meant to be portrayed comes through wonderfully. The story is another factor that definitely enhances the representation taking place in the film, as it matches perfectly with the cinematic techniques Kurosawa puts to work. If there are any inconveniences to be encountered throughout the course of the film, it would all obviously be as a result of the cut-off already mentioned.
The conspicuous acting goes without saying; everyone in the film fits into their roll perfectly. The main character may probably come as overacted to an audience not familiarized with Kurosawa's work, or Japanese cinema for that matter; Susuma Fujita would not be as well-known as Toshiro Mifune would later become, but he undoubtedly does his best here.
The film, despite the cut-off, works perfectly. One can just wonder how much better this could be if it were in its full form, as first conceived by the director.
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