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Great Movies Film Club: Yojimbo Talkback

Ebert watches movies.by Dave Umbricht

Welcome back to our lovely adventure.  I hope you enjoyed Yojimbo.  If you have not had a chance to watch it yet, stop reading, go to your local video store/library/Hulu Plus, watch, ruminate, and return.

This is your area to freely discuss every lit morsel of Akira Kurosawa’s classic without worry about spoiling it for the unitiated.

The first word goes to the man we honor with this club.  So without further adieu, click here to read Roger’s words.

Oh, but how Roger is mad at me right now.

I can feel it.  You see, a few years back he taunted me on twitter.  I tweeted that I was watching Solaris on my blackberry in a Paris hotel room.  He responded, “take a walk.”  Good advice to the guy sending pretentious tweets from France about a Soviet Sci Film.

Roger hated the idea of watching movies on phones, at least back then.  Who could blame him, the screen was ridiculously small and calling the connection slow is very kind.  So, when it came to this club, I swore that I would only watch the movies on my TV.  Alas, due to life’s everyday chaos, I watched it on my phone.

Sorry Roger.

I swear the screen is much bigger these days.

Now on to the show.  I will join in the conversation below, but have a few quick thoughts to start off.

  • I knew that A Fistful of Dollars was inspired by this, but I did not realize it is essentially a remake.  I felt like I had seen Yojimbo before.  That is not a bad thing, I love A Fistful of Dollars.
  • Loved the swinging 60’s jazz score.  It hits me at a gut level, everyone is just a bit cooler when backed by it.  Although, it did lend to a bit of a West Side Story feel for a few of the bigger battles.  Hard to be a badass when I think of Jets and Sharks.
  • Toshiro Mifune could stand toe to toe with Clint (or John Wayne or Lee Marvin, etc. etc.)  Who would win a fight between the two?  This is something I am contemplating and may need to do more research on before I proclaim a victor.
  • Just when I thought I had the movie pegged, they added the gun.  Gun vs. sword?  It beautifully ratcheted up the tension.
  • Giant with giant mallet.  Hundreds of video game bosses spawned from that one image.

Let’s get this going.  Discuss below in the comment section. And if you feel truly inspired and want to write something in depth, drop me a line.  I have a few things I’m pondering, and, if time permits, I’ll explore them before the end of June.

Remember, Yojimbo is our June movie, the next one will be announced at the beginning of July.

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About Dave Umbricht

Dave Umbricht is a self proclaimed "guy who knows a couple of things". However, he has never claimed to know them well. Genetically predisposed to love movies, at age ten he felt really cool being the only fourth grader who knew of the film "My Dinner with Andre", thanks to Siskel & Ebert. For the next twenty years he pretended to have seen the movie until he finally watched it at age 28 and understood what all the fuss was about. He attempted to watch all of the films on Ebert's Great Movies list by age 40. He failed.

1 comment for “Great Movies Film Club: Yojimbo Talkback

  1. Gail
    June 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I really enjoyed this film. It had been on my list to see eventually. Glad this made me move it up the list. I felt like I was watching the birth of every 1960 era western with this film. And that other films have been paying homage to Yojimbo in ways I never realized. (Does the gun vs. sword scene in Raiders count?)

    The giant with giant mallet was great to see throughout the movie. I started looking for him too.

    I commented in another post that I had recently read Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett which this is loosely based on.This movie had more of a moral core than the novel.

    Will now watch A Fistful of Dollars and remember where it all began.

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