Yojimbo vs. a Fistful of Dollars

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The film Yojimbo is a very old fashioned Japanese, but Western film that is almost exactly the same as the film, A Fistful of Dollars. Kurosawa and Leone use the same narrative plot for Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars, but with different culture. The best way to compare both films is to look at the opening scenes, how the heroes are introduced, how the towns are introduced, and the climax and overall end of the movie. I would keep scenes such as, the beginning scenes where “The Man With No Name” rides into the town looking like a strong, cowboy who is not scared of a single thing from A Fistful of Dollars in order to emphasize masculinity, while the scenes I would keep from Yojimbo are scenes such as, the Seibei family deciding whether or not to kill Sanjuro after he finishes the task of defeating their enemy because of the relationship with the family.

When viewing the opening scenes of the two films the audience is able to get a feel of the two main characters, one, which is “The Man With No Name” in A Fistful of Dollars and the other, Sanjuro in Yojimbo, who is a skillful Samurai. A hero is someone who is very masculine, brave, and shows or acts like he contains power. I believe this is shown in A Fistful of Dollars. For example, “The Man With No Name” is a husky scruffy looking man trotting along on a mule, following the open road into a hidden and forgotten town. “The Man With No Name” does not look frightened and has a calm, but intimidating look on his face when entering the town. On the other hand, in the beginning of the film Yojimbo, the viewers see a Samurai walking along a dirt path when suddenly he comes across a tree branch. Sanjuro, the skillful Samurai, picks up the dead tree branch and throws it into the air. Sanjuro is deciding his destiny and following whichever direction the tree branch lands. In my opinion, I would keep the husky and scruffy looking man who is not deciding his destiny based on a direction that a tree branch lands. I think the Western, cowboy appearance and attitude is much more appealing to audiences today because they tend to associate masculinity and heroism with someone who looks and dresses like “The Man With No Name”. Masculinity plays a big role in both of the two films, but I strongly believe that the main character in A Fistful of Dollars shows masculinity in a much better way.

Another scene that I would keep from A Fistful of Dollars would be the scene where the dead Mexican peasant is on the back of a mule trotting out of town. I believe that this scene adds much more danger to the main character, thus letting the audience better appreciate his heroism and bravery. This scene shows the main character, “The Man With No Name”, exactly how the town deals with people such as, criminals, traders, or the innocent killing of their enemies. Not only can “The Man With No Name” see the man dangling from the mule, but also that the man is clearly deceased. In Yojimbo, there is a similar scene that shows a dog running by Sanjuro with a severed human hand in his mouth, but I believe that the dead man is much more realistic than the dog with the severed limb. While watching Sanjuro’s expressions and body language I did not feel as if he was as worried as “The Man With No Name”. I believe that the main character in A Fistful of Dollars had a much more terrifying and brutal awakening into the town than Sanjuro. Because “The Man With No Name” had such a brutal awakening, the severed limb does not justify an exact description of the town as the scene in A Fistful of Dollars.

Not only should masculine scenes from A Fistful of Dollars be kept, but also scenes that deal with the relationship between the main character and the family that Sanjuro is working for, in Yojimbo, should be kept as well. A scene that is shown towards the beginning of Yojimbo that I believe is important, is when Sanjuro overhears Seibei and his family planning to kill him once they overthrow their enemy. I...
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