The directorial debut from one of the screen’s greatest ever directors – Akira Kurosawa. Sugata Sanshiro is the tale of the emergence of the fighting art of Judo in old Japan. Set in the late 19th century, the film follows an awkward young man Sugata and his quest for knowledge. After witnessing some Ju-Jitsu bullies beaten by a man with a new fighting style, Sugata yearns to learn the emerging art of Judo. As Sugata aims to beat the Ju-Jitsu masters he also fights a battle with his inner self.
Stated at beginning of film:
APOLOGY: This is an edited version of Mr Kurosawa's first film. The original film was released in March 1943. Some 1856 feet had been cut from it by the censors without the permission of the director or his staff. Although these restrictions have now been lifted we are unable to restore the film to its original form as the edited parts were lost during the post-war confusion. But we have decided to re-release this film as we believe it has value even in edited form. We seek the understanding of our patrons in this matter.
"Sanshiro, a strong stubborn youth, comes to the city to apprentice at a jujitsu school. His first night, he sees Yano in action, a master of judo, a more spiritual art, and he begs to be Yano's student. As the youth learns technique, he must also learn "satori," the calm acceptance of Nature's law. If he can balance strength and control, then judo may become the training regimen for the city's police, Sanshiro can gain respect from an old teacher in a jujitsu school, and he can win the hand of Sayo, that teacher's daughter, who is also sought by jujitsu's finest master, the implacable Higaki, who vows to kill Sanshiro in a midnight fight on a windswept mountainside. " -imdb.com