Arguably the greatest Samurai movie ever
. But let's be more specific.
- Kikuchiyo's killing spree in the last battle.
- When Kambei mentions how beneficial it would be to take one of the bandits' guns. Kyuuzou takes it upon himself to go at it alone, a sure suicide for almost anyone else who would have volunteered, and runs off into the night. He returns at dawn, hands the musket over with one word (futari: two men [killed]) and goes to sit alone, proving his badassery once again.
- An out of universe example: Actor Seiji Miyaguchi who played Kyuuzou had never handled a sword in his life. Through clever camera angles and brilliant editing, Kurosawa made him appear as the greatest swordsman in the film.
- Kyuuzou's sparring match with another nameless samurai. The battle appears to be a draw, and the other samurai laughs about this. Kyuuzou calmly states that it was not a draw, and that he won. The other samurai becomes very angry, and challenges his to a real duel. Kyuuzou several times begs him not to, but the other insists. Kyuuzou did win the previous duel, and he wins this one too; though this time, instead of standing in one place like he did during the spar, he uses a last-second dodge (like one would in a real duel) to effortlessly cut down his opponent.
- Kambei does nothing but watch, yet earns an awesome moment for himself by muttering as soon as the swords come out, "How pointless. It's obvious who would win."
- Kambei's clever and daring method of saving a peasant child from the desperate criminal holding the child hostage. Katsushirou, Kikuchiyo and the peasants all happen to be witnesses, and it impresses all of them. Katsushirou is an impressionable young man from a wealthy samurai family who decides on the spot to ask the veteran samurai to be his mentor; Kikuchiyo (who has his own reasons to admire the rescue of peasant children) is impressed and hopes to set up an Odd Couple partnership; and the peasants, of course, have been hoping desperately to find a samurai who can save them all.
- When the villagers are first wary of the newly arrived samurai, the alarm bell in town goes off and all the villagers immediately beg the samurai for help. Kambei leads the others to the bell to find Kikuchiyo ringing it: he's doing it to show the villagers how desperate they really are for protection, and calls them on their hypocrisy in not accepting the samurai quick enough.
- A bit later, his blistering "The Reason You Suck" Speech to both the farmers and the samurai, one of the best pieces of acting in Toshiro Mifune's career.
- Kambei's old war buddy Shichiroji happens to wander through the town where Kambei is recruiting. Kimbei explains that he's about to take on a virtually impossible battle on behalf of people who can't afford to pay more than a pittance, and asks, "Are you in?" And Shichiroji doesn't hesitate: "Yes."