Akira Kurosawa's Influence On American & Spaghetti Westerns

Back in the 1960s, a series of western films came out starring Clint Eastwood. These westerns were unique because Eastwood played a man with no name, but he carried a big gun, and really knew how to use it! The 1964 movie, A Fistful of Dollars was directed by an Italian-born man named Sergio Leone, and his unique style of filmmaking made these films not only successful at the box office, but changed the way films were done from then on. The spaghetti western was born thanks to Sergio Leone, but he was actually influenced by Akira Kurosawa, who is said to be the real father of the spaghetti western genre.

Akira Kurosawa began making movies in 1936, a had a career in filmmaking that spanned over half a century. In 1961, he made a movie called Yojimbo, and it is this movie that inspired Sergio Leone into creating the Fistful of Dollars movie. The two films are said to be so similar that Kurosawa actually sued Leone. Just what made Yojimbo so special that it is credit as being what created the genre of spaghetti westerns?

The plot of Yojimbo is not too complicated, but it was unique enough to really get the attention of filmmakers and movie buffs around the world. In the movie, a samurai warrior ends up in a small town that is being fought over by two rival gangs. Though advised from the owner of a local inn about the fact the town is in the middle of a gang war, the warrior decides to help rid the town of both gangs. Much like the Fistful of Dollars movie, the samurai warrior does his best to aggravate both sides of the war until they all end up killing one another. The way the movie was shot was all because of Kurosawa, and he changed the way films were made forever.

Spaghetti westerns came out in the 1960s, and starred Clint Eastwood as a man with no name. The success of these movies was all due to Sergio Leone, but he was actually influenced by a Japanese filmmaker named Akira Kurosawa, who was a former painted turned filmmaker. The 1961 film that Kurosawa made called Yojimbo featured a nameless man who wandered into a small town, which is so close to Fistful of Dollars that Leone was sued. Akiro Kurosawa made movies for over 50 years, and his style of filming influenced Sergio Leone, and gave birth to the spaghetti westerns that are still popular even today.

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