Seven Samurai Open Thread


A fabulous post over at POWERLINE:


Drunken Angel (1948), the first of Mifune’s 16 films for Kurosawa, casts him as a small-time hoodlum who is befriended by an alcoholic doctor (Takashi Shimura, the “drunken angel”), but runs afoul of his former gangster boss.

Stray Dog (1949), one of Japan’s first film noir detective movies, has Mifune as a rookie homicide detective investigating a gun racket.

Rashomon (1950) is the classic Oscar-winning tale, set in the eighth century, in which various characters provide differing accounts of the same incident – the rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband. Mifune plays the notorious outlaw who claims to have seduced the wife.

Seven Samurai (1954) is another hugely influential classic – an epic samurai drama about a village of farmers in 1586 who hire seven rōnin (masterless samurai) to combat bandits who plot to steal their crops. Mifune is Kikuchiyo, a rogue who lies about being a samurai but proves himself as a warrior.

Throne of Blood (1957) is an historical drama in which Kurosawa transplants the story of Macbeth from medieval Scotland to feudal Japan. Mifune stars as the Macbeth character.

The Hidden Fortress (1958) is the story of two greedy peasants in feudal Japan who escort a general (Mifune) and a princess across enemy lines without realizing their identity.

Yojimbo (1961) is a samurai adventure about a wandering rōnin known as Kuwabatake Sanjuro (Mifune), who arrives in a small town where two competing crime lords try to hire him as a bodyguard.

Sanjuro (1962) is a sequel to Yojimbo, with Mifune reprising his antihero character from the earlier film. In this one, Sanjuro becomes the protector of a chamberlain of a clan who is being threatened by an evil superintendent.

High and Low (1963) is a police drama starring Mifune as a wealthy executive who is told that his son has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. The executive faces a moral dilemma after he realizes that his chauffeur’s son was taken by mistake.

Red Beard (1965) was the final collaboration between Kurosawa and Mifune. The actor plays a gruff-spoken but sympathetic doctor in 19th-century Japan who takes an arrogant young intern (Yûzô Kayama) under his guidance and teaches him lessons in humanity.

Read the whole thing.


Presser link:

Bruno Strozek

Written by Bruno Strozek

Bruno Strozek is the author of occasionally semi-coherent piffle and has been a Writer/Editor at Sparta Report since July 2016.

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