Comparing Akira Kurosawa 's Yojimbo And Sergio Leone 's A Fistful Of Dollars

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It is difficult to imagine that two nations as culturally distinct as the United States and Japan in the 1960s, could find any common ground. However, the similarities between Akira Kurosawa 's Yojimbo and Sergio Leone 's A Fistful of Dollars are undeniable and yet both films reached similar levels of success in their respective nations. In fact, the films were found to be so analogous that Kurosawa is known to have sued Leone for the unlicensed production of his film. All of this aside, it is the differences between each of these films that reveal the most about the cultural nuances between each nation at the time. Although A Fistful of Dollars follows Kurosawa 's plot line almost exactly, he fails to capture the humour and self-reflexivity that is pervasive throughout Yojimbo. Additionally, Leone was forced to adapt his plot line in order to better suit the predominant use of firearms in his picture, which in turn bore a clear influence on other key elements of the film. Moreover, his characterization of the female roles in the story leave much to be desired as they present merely a shallow interpretation of Kurosawa 's characters. Over all, Kurosawa makes significantly bolder choices in his film making style, flirting with different reflexive techniques in order to push the boundaries of cinema, while Leone follows a more traditional path. In their respective introductory scenes, both films somewhat obscure the plot similarities that are later revealed. Kurosawa presents

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