There’s Remakes … and then there’s this:
In Yurusarezaru mono – a Japanese remake/adaptation of Clint Eastwood‘s iconic Western, Unforgiven (1992) we discover a cinematic tradition of Remakes that goes back a ways … pardner.
Legendary Westerns film Director John Sturges‘* The Magnificent Seven (1960) is well known to have borrowed from Japanese Director/Film maker Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai.
In fact, the ‘borrowing’ of themes and story lines between the Orient and the West is sometimes so inbred and intertwined that it’s hard to know who started what … and where???
In this outstanding article/research by Kristen Brennan we see just how deep the rabbit hole goes:
Excerpts: “Kurosawa Films” http://moongadget.com/origins/kurosawa.html
” … many elements from Kurosawa‘s work remain, including the two bickering peasants (who evolved into the droids – C3P0 and R2D2), elements of the Obi-Wan/Luke relationship and the queen who often switches places with her handmaiden. The Darth Vader-like evil general who has a change of heart at the end wears a kamon (commonly called simply a “mon”, a Japanese family crest) that looks very similar to the Imperial Crest.”
“Star Wars borrows a lot of great stuff from Yojimbo, (Akira Kurosawa film) including the cantina scene: several men threaten the hero, bragging how wanted they are by authorities. There’s a flash of blade and suddenly an arm lies on the ground. Mifune is offered “25 ryo now, 25 when you complete the mission.” (A ryo is a gold coin.) Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who played Boba Fett, said the character was based on Clint Eastwood’s version of The Man With No Name. You can hear a little cowboy-spur jingle when Fett enters the dining room in The Empire Strikes Back, soft and subtle enough that it’s probably meant to trigger our emotional association with the character without our conscious awareness.”
MFW: Speaking of Remakes: we’re still waiting for ANY news about Tom Cruise‘s “The Magnificent Seven” Remake. Not a peep has been heard in months. I’m guessing Cruise is waiting on the Writing – which has to be excellent – and trying to figure out the ALL IMPORTANT casting – which has to somehow match (if that’s possible) the cast from the original movie: Yul Brunner, Steve Mcqueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz – most of whom enjoyed superstar film careers. No word yet if Cruise is (wisely) attempting to get the rights to the original magnificent sound track theme music by Elmer Bernstein.
The rumor mills are churning and you can bet that there are many actors campaigning and begging Cruise for a part of the action.
*John Sturges Westerns:
Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) / Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) / Backlash (1956) / Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) / Saddle the Wind (1958) / The Law and Jake Wade (1958) / Last Train from Gun Hill (1959) / Sergeants 3 (1962) / The Hallelujah Trail (1965) / Hour of the Gun (1967) / Joe Kidd (1972) / Chino (1973)