||Trailers: Sanjuro (Teaser, Theatrical)
|| Commentary with Stephen Prince (English)
||Toho Masterworks: Sanjuro (45 minutes)
||Booklet with an essay by Michael Sragow and notes
Released simultaneously with their reconstructed
version of Yojimbo,
comes this excellent DVD for the second Sanjuro
film. Given that this is a re-release, the company
has the task of making this new disc appealing
to those who have previously purchased the movie,
and in that respect they pass with flying colors.
Every aspect of this release is superb, from great
video and audio presentations to an excellent
array of supplemental content.
It's no secret that the original 1999 release
on DVD was a little lacking in the video department.
Thankfully, the video track on this disc doesn't
disappoint. The most stunning aspect about this
transfer is simply the level of detail present,
as the movie looks very sharp. The print used
for the transfer is also in pretty great shape.
There are a few moments of light shimmering, but
they are few and far between and are not disruptive
enough to detract from the experience much.
With much rejoicing, this DVD also presents the
movie in its original ratio of 2.35:1, and is
Anamorphic for widescreen TVs. This is in contrast
to the company's previous DVD, which noticeably
cropped the image; something that is very apparent
in comparisons, as seen here with the 1999
release compared to the 2007
Criterion does it again for this disc, by
not only trumping the video and extra content
over their previous DVD but also by providing
a much more attractive audio presentation. The
biggest draw here is the inclusion of the original
three channel stereo presentation, that was created
for the movie using Perspecta Stereophonic Sound.
The added depth of the stereo track, although
created through a rather archaic means by today's
standards, does add a lot to the audio presentation.
The disc includes a second audio track, though,
which is the more common one channel mono presentation.
In terms of quality, both are superb, lacking
any overt inconsistencies in their presentation
while all of the dialogue is easily distinguishable.
The audio can be accompanied with, removable,
As expected, Criterion has crammed a ton of
extra content for this re-release. Not surprisingly,
the best supplement here is another entry in the
Toho Masterworks series called "Akira Kurosawa:
It's Wonderful to Create" that focuses on
Sanjuro. The 45 minute documentary has
numerous interviews from the surviving cast and
crew, while it also briefly covers the scrapped
Days concept that was refocused into this
Some of the other features on this release include
a new audio commentary track by Stephen Prince,
who, as always, provides a lot of rich and in
depth details about the production. The DVD also
boasts the previously included theatrical trailer,
although also includes an early teaser done for
the movie. For those who haven't been able to
see the teaser before, they are in for a real
treat. It's a very short advert, but features
Mifune and Tatsuya
Nakadai, in full costume, briskly walking
and talking through
the Toho lot. It's simple, but sure to bring
a smile to the faces of many Toho enthusiasts.
Following those, the re-release also contains
a small still gallery for the movie's production,
along with 20 page booklet found in the case that
provides further insight into the movie and its
various stages of development.
line, this DVD makes a perfect companion to the
disc, both in terms of content, naturally, and
in regards to quality. Considering the shape of
the 1999 version, this release is certainly worth
upgrading to, while interested buyers who haven't
picked up the film before should make note of
the outstanding presentations found on the 2007
This disc is also featured in the DVD box set: