Complete Guide to Red Harvest/Yojimbo Adaptations/Remakes

by nikolayyeriomin | created - 07 Jul 2016 | updated - 19 May 2017 | Public

There are plots which are adapted often... And then there's this, a basic structure which was re-used in such a big number of movies it could easily qualify as a genre.

Also some people admit similarities with "Il servitore di due padroni" (The Servant of Two Masters), a 1745 play by Carlo Goldoni, the plot is first seen in its entirety in Dashiell Hammett's novel "Red Harvest" (1929). The basic outline - a skilled man with no name arrives in the small city, torn by rivaling gangs and, being employed in both of these gangs manages to destroy them completely.

Akira Kurosawa adapted Hammett's novel (also using some portions of another novel of Hammett's - "The Glass Key") as "Yojimbo", a samurai movie which itself was remade a lot, both legally and illegally.

This list tries to compile titles which used the Red Harvest/Yojimbo premise, even partially. I keep updating the list with new examples, which I still keep finding after nearly five years of research.

If you have time for weird videos, here's my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/PictureProductStudio http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWkcL-G3OwVvVb1B94bH5hQ

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1. Roadhouse Nights (1930)

68 min | Drama

A boozing newsman (Charles Ruggles) woos a singer (Helen Morgan) while spying on her bootlegger boyfriend (Fred Kohler).

Director: Hobart Henley | Stars: Helen Morgan, Charles Ruggles, Fred Kohler, Jimmy Durante

Votes: 67

Ironically enough, first and only official adaptation of Hammett's novel bears nearly no resemblance to source material.

2. Maniac (1934)

Not Rated | 51 min | Horror

A former vaudevillian gifted at impersonation assists a mad scientist in reanimating corpses and soon goes mad himself.

Director: Dwain Esper | Stars: Bill Woods, Horace B. Carpenter, Ted Edwards, Phyllis Diller

Votes: 1,938

There is a rather hilarious spin on that kind of plot in the climax of this movie.

3. Buchanan Rides Alone (1958)

Approved | 80 min | Drama, Western

Texan Tom Buchanan is heading back home with enough money to start his own ranch, but when he stops in the crooked town of Agry, he's robbed and framed for murder.

Director: Budd Boetticher | Stars: Randolph Scott, Craig Stevens, Barry Kelley, Tol Avery

Votes: 2,017

4. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 100,576

5. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

R | 99 min | Drama, Western

65 Metascore

A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volontè, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy

Votes: 181,588 | Gross: $14.50M

6. Django (1966)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Western

75 Metascore

A coffin-dragging gunslinger and a half-breed prostitute become embroiled in a bitter feud between a Klan of Southern racists and a band of Mexican Revolutionaries.

Director: Sergio Corbucci | Stars: Franco Nero, José Canalejas, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak

Votes: 22,686 | Gross: $0.03M

7. The Silent Stranger (1968)

PG | 92 min | Western

An American gunfighter is tasked with delivering a valuable scroll to a feudal lord in Japan, and becomes embroiled in a feud between the lord and his rival cousin over ownership of land owed to a young princess in their care.

Director: Luigi Vanzi | Stars: Tony Anthony, Lloyd Battista, Kin Ômae, Kanji Ohara

Votes: 227

8. Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (1970)

Not Rated | 79 min | Drama, Action, Adventure

Zatoichi tries to unrest the mob rule over a small village all while the gang leader's bodyguard is actually the Yojimbo, secretly taking the gang down from the inside. Will the two heroes realize in time that they are on the same side?

Director: Kihachi Okamoto | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Shintarô Katsu, Ayako Wakao, Osamu Takizawa

Votes: 2,122

9. Cry of a Prostitute (1974)

R | 97 min | Crime, Drama

Thriller Starring Henry Silva and Barbara Bouchet. She Left Prostitution only to find Murder! Shes a former prostitute, now married to a gang boss dealing in black market currency and ... See full summary »

Director: Andrea Bianchi | Stars: Henry Silva, Barbara Bouchet, Fausto Tozzi, Vittorio Sanipoli

Votes: 392

10. Karate Warriors (1976)

R | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A karate fighter and a samurai join opposing gangs to take them down from the inside.

Director: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Isao Natsuyagi, Akiko Koyama, Akane Kawasaki

Votes: 245

11. La ciudad maldita (1978)

91 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A wandering gunman/lawman comes to a town in the old west where lawlessness and crime roam. A murder-mystery set in the old wild-west.

Director: Juan Bosch | Stars: Chet Bakon, Diana Lorys, Roberto Camardiel, Daniel Martín

Votes: 16

13. Cop or Hood (1979)

PG | 107 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Commissaire Stanislas Borowitz is going undercover as gangster Antonio Cerutti in order to expose corrupted policemen.

Director: Georges Lautner | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Georges Géret, Jean-François Balmer, Claude Brosset

Votes: 1,836

14. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

R | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

77 Metascore

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich community escape a horde of bandits.

Director: George Miller | Stars: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps

Votes: 156,961 | Gross: $12.47M

Second half of the movie bears quite a resemblance to "Yojimbo".

15. The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)

R | 81 min | Adventure, Fantasy

The mighty warrior, Kain, crosses the barren wastelands of the planet Ura, where two arch enemies, Zeg and the evil degenerate Balcaz, fight incessantly for control of the village's only ... See full summary »

Director: John C. Broderick | Stars: David Carradine, Luke Askew, Maria Socas, Anthony De Longis

Votes: 1,257 | Gross: $2.89M

16. When the Raven Flies (1984)

R | 109 min | Action, Drama

An Irish man seeks vengeance against the vikings who killed his parents.

Director: Hrafn Gunnlaugsson | Stars: Jakob Þór Einarsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Helgi Skúlason, Gotti Sigurdarson

Votes: 2,225

17. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

71 Metascore

After being exiled from the most advanced town in post apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town's queen.

Directors: George Miller, George Ogilvie | Stars: Mel Gibson, Tina Turner, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn

Votes: 119,761 | Gross: $36.20M

This time resemblance is more evident in the first half of the movie.

18. Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Drama

46 Metascore

Architect/vigilante Paul Kersey takes on the members of a vicious Los Angeles drug cartel to stop the flow of drugs after his girlfriend's daughter dies from an overdose.

Director: J. Lee Thompson | Stars: Charles Bronson, Kay Lenz, John P. Ryan, Perry Lopez

Votes: 8,109 | Gross: $6.88M

19. Garfield and Friends (1988–1995)
Episode: The Lasagna Zone/U.S. Acres: Sleepytime Pig/Yojumbo (1989)

TV-G | 23 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

The Lasagna Zone: Jon brings home a new satellite dish with an unusual warning which Garfield doesn't notice and as a result, winds up in the TV. Sleepytime Pig: The Sandman missed the farm... See full summary »

Directors: Steve Clark, John Walker, Bob Curtis | Stars: Lorenzo Music, Thom Huge, Howard Morris, Gregg Berger

Votes: 22

Segment "Yojumbo".

20. Miller's Crossing (1990)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

66 Metascore

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, Marcia Gay Harden

Votes: 119,627 | Gross: $5.08M

21. Pokémon (1997– )
Episode: Showdown! Pokémon Gym! (1998)

TV-Y | 22 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The gang arrive in a place called Dark City to find that two rival gyms have been terrorizing the place with their feud.

Directors: Masamitsu Hidaka, Fred Butter, Beatrijs Sluyter | Stars: Rikako Aikawa, Madeleine Blaustein, Megumi Hayashibara, Rodger Parsons

Votes: 290

22. The Hitman (1991)

R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

A Cop goes undercover as a Hitman to bring down a criminal organization.

Director: Aaron Norris | Stars: Chuck Norris, Michael Parks, Al Waxman, Alberta Watson

Votes: 3,241 | Gross: $4.65M

23. El Mariachi (1992)

R | 81 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

73 Metascore

A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Stars: Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gómez, Jaime de Hoyos, Peter Marquardt

Votes: 60,090 | Gross: $2.04M

24. Mohra (1994)

177 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A journalist comes to the aid of a murderer with a life sentence when she makes an appeal in court and although he is given his freedom, they soon discover that there is a grim reason behind his release.

Director: Rajiv Rai | Stars: Akshay Kumar, Raveena Tandon, Naseeruddin Shah, Sunil Shetty

Votes: 7,106

An unofficial (at times - shot-for-shot) remake of "Death Wish 4: The Crackdown".

25. Fresh (1994)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

Death and violence anger a twelve-year-old drug courier, who sets his employers against each other.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Sean Nelson, Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson, N'Bushe Wright

Votes: 11,350 | Gross: $8.09M

26. Peace Hotel (1995)

89 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A retired old west killer sets up a hotel for vagrants and wayward souls called Peace Hotel. When a woman with a gang on her tail attempts to hide there the owner of the hotel must revert to his old ways to protect his hotel.

Director: Ka-Fai Wai | Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Cecilia Yip, Ho Chin, Shun Lau

Votes: 1,017

27. Steel Frontier (1995 Video)

R | 105 min | Action, Sci-Fi

In a post-apocalyptic 2019, a lone gunman named Yuma fights a gang of bandits called the United Regime who have invaded the town of New Hope.

Directors: Joe Hart, Paul G. Volk | Stars: Joe Lara, Bo Svenson, Stacie Foster, Brion James

Votes: 449

28. Last Man Standing (1996)

R | 101 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A drifting gunslinger-for-hire finds himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Irish and Italian mafia in a Prohibition era ghost town.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, William Sanderson, Christopher Walken

Votes: 50,725 | Gross: $17.60M

29. Omega Doom (1996)

R | 84 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

After earth is taken over by an army of robots, the small number of humans left are forced into hiding. In the nuclear winter, only droids walk the face of the earth, in fear of the rumored... See full summary »

Director: Albert Pyun | Stars: Rutger Hauer, Shannon Whirry, Norbert Weisser, Tina Cote

Votes: 2,741

30. Sekal Has to Die (1998)

109 min | Drama

Baran, a protestant blacksmith arrives in the little village of Lakotice to kill Sekal, a cruel Nazi collaborator.

Director: Vladimír Michálek | Stars: Olaf Lubaszenko, Boguslaw Linda, Jirí Bartoska, Agnieszka Sitek

Votes: 851

31. Single Action (1998)

76 min | Action, Drama

The killing of a political leader shatters the peace of a small Mexican town. MANCO, the brother of the murdered presidential candidate knows the killer and sets out to exact his revenge. ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Gallardo | Stars: Carlos Gallardo, Alejandra Prado, Miguel Gurza, Óscar Castañeda

Votes: 66 | Gross: $0.54M

32. Inferno (II) (1999)

R | 95 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A man (JCVD) drives out in the desert where some men steal his motorcycle and leave him for dead. He survives and no longer thinks of suicide as he now has a purpose in life: revenge and getting his bike back.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Pat Morita, Danny Trejo, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick

Votes: 8,369

33. Cold Harvest (1999 Video)

R | 89 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A bounty hunter protects his dead brother's wife in a lawless world after a comet has devastated much of earth.

Director: Isaac Florentine | Stars: Gary Daniels, Bryan Genesse, Barbara Crampton, David Sherwood

Votes: 531

34. Kaze No Yojimbo (2001– )

23 min | Action, Animation, Mystery

In this modern day reimagining of Akira Kurosawa's film Yojimbo, Jyouji ("George") Kodama has arrived in Kimujuku, a town distinctly divided by two rival factions, in order to search for a ... See full summary »

Stars: Mari Devon, Hiroaki Hirata, Neil Kaplan, Michael McConnohie

Votes: 59

35. Gun Crazy: Episode 1 - A Woman from Nowhere (2002 Video)

65 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A western set in 2002 Okinawa, Japan, where a woman on a mission rides her Harley Davidson into lawless Tsuson. Fortunately, she's quite capable of defending herself, with or without weapons.

Director: Atsushi Muroga | Stars: Ryôko Yonekura, Shingo Tsurumi, Takeshi Yamato, Shun Sugata

Votes: 129

37. City of God (2002)

R | 130 min | Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

In the slums of Rio, two kids' paths diverge as one struggles to become a photographer and the other a kingpin.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund | Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Matheus Nachtergaele, Phellipe Haagensen

Votes: 656,141 | Gross: $7.56M

38. Deadwood (2004–2006)

TV-MA | 55 min | Crime, Drama, History

A show set in the late 1800s, revolving around the characters of Deadwood, South Dakota; a town of deep corruption and crime.

Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Brad Dourif

Votes: 87,074

39. Lucky Number Slevin (2006)

R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

53 Metascore

A case of mistaken identity lands Slevin into the middle of a war being plotted by two of the city's most rival crime bosses: The Rabbi and The Boss. Slevin is under constant surveillance by relentless Detective Brikowski as well as the infamous assassin Goodkat and finds himself having to hatch his own ingenious plot to get them before they get him.

Director: Paul McGuigan | Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu

Votes: 290,277 | Gross: $22.49M

40. Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)

R | 121 min | Action, Western

55 Metascore

A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Hideaki Itô, Kôichi Satô, Quentin Tarantino, Masanobu Andô

Votes: 14,129 | Gross: $0.05M

41. Stariki-polkovniki (2007 TV Movie)

90 min | Crime

Two leading characters, Andrey Andreevich and Oleg Borisovich are both retired colonels. One of them headed a local KGB department and the other a local police station. But time came to ... See full summary »

Director: Andrey Benkendorf | Stars: Boris Abramov, Lev Durov, Natalya Gudkova, Sergey Nikonenko

43. Live by Night (2016)

R | 129 min | Action, Crime, Drama

49 Metascore

A group of Boston-bred gangsters set up shop in balmy Florida during the Prohibition era, facing off against the competition and the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Chris Messina

Votes: 48,266 | Gross: $10.38M



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