SANTA MONICA — It’s no secret that Akira Kurosawa’s films were heavily influenced by John Ford’s westerns. The Japanese master, when asked what paintings he studied when composing his films, famously replied, “I studied John Ford.”
That much can be seen in this double feature from the two cinematic legends, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962, 123 minutes) and “Sanjuro” (1963, 96 minutes). From the unrestricted small towns run by corrupt influences to the outsider trying to set things morally straight, a bevy of similarities arises that suggest more than these western and samurai premises would have you first believe.
In the first film, James Stewart is a lawyer who rises to prominence as he civilizes the west, while John Wayne is a man of action rendered obsolete by the passage of time. In the second, wandering ronin Toshiro Mifune helps a young samurai whose uncle is framed by a corrupt superintendent.
Watch the double feature of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and a 35mm screening of “Sanjuro” at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 7:30 p.m.
For more tickets, click here.