1943 ****
Original Theatrical Cut ran 97 mins.
All current versions run 79 mins.

The first feature film from the great Akira Kurosawa is an amazing experience because it gives us the first glimpses of the genius at work. The original film was longer than all the currently existing versions because the Japanese censorship board excised scenes from the film after World War II. Those excised scenes are now nowhere to be found. Even in its truncated form, though, Sanshiro Sugata is still a wonderful little film with rich style. Based on a novel by Tsuneo Tomita, Sanshiro Sugata tells an exciting martial arts story that has richly-developed characters. It really ends up being more about the people than judo and jujitsu, and that is why it works so well.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Not Rated.

Denjiro Ookouchi + Susumu Fujita + Yukiko Todoroki + Ranko Hanai + Ryunosuke Tsukigata + Takashi Shimura + Sugisaku Aoyama + Kokuten Kodo

Original Novel by
Tsuneo Tomita

Screenplay by
Akira Kurosawa

Directed by
Akira Kurosawa

SANSHIRO SUGATA in The Criterion Collection

Motion Pictures