Out of a choice of Tatsuya Nakadai, Toshiro Mifune, and Takashi Shimura. I’m going to be particularly predictable and go with Mifune, all though I love all three.
Yeah,, I think it has to be Mifune, but it’s hard to imagine him without Shimura.
Mifune, but he’s number two behind marlon Brando and before Deniro. That is how much i love Mifune, the baddest motherfucker besides bogart to walk the earth:)
You really can’t get anywhere near Mifune. But i still have a special place in my heart for Nakadai. They’re definitely in two different realms, and each have their own appeal. Nakadai is just unforgettable in Sword Of Doom. And I didn’t even realize it was him until half way through Kill! (probably my favorite samurai action film).
but i’ll echo that sentiment, that Shimura paired up with Mifune creates such a great balance on screen.
Mifune is great, but I think I’ll have to go with Takashi Shimura.
all of them had their moments, shimura brought a stellar subtly to Ikiru that Mifune wouldn’t be right for. Shimura’s brought a sense of seriousness and decrepitness to his performance in Ran not impossible by the other two but by then kurosawa had had a falling out with mifune. Lastly Mifune brought a sense of charisma and sheer stage presence to just to everything he is in…
If i picked a favorite it would be Shimura followed quickly by mifune.
*Oops Nakadai on the Ran entry there
One could crush my skull, but another breaks my heart. If you asked me 20 years ago, it would be Mifune in a walk. But now, with both parents dead before their time and me increasingly conscious of this life I’m leading, Shimura and “Ikiru” speak most eloquently to me.
Mifune all the way.
Isuzu Yamada is pretty great in THRONE OF BLOOD and YOJIMBO.
But on personal merits alone, I’d absolutely have to go with Takashi Shimura as an artist. There’s a range he displays in his major roles with Kurosawa that Mifune never came close to.
Yes, it’s true that Mifune was simply of force of nature. While he and Kurosawa made many a masterpiece together, my favorite film of Kurosawa’s is still Ikiru, in which Shimura was the lead. Shimura’s performance in that film is still my favorite perfrormance in a Kurosawa film. Mifune was an absolute monster though.
Mifune is the best, to believe it I’ve been watching Kurosawa films since the age of 9. There was something about Mifune that made me sit still and take notice – very riveting.
Mifune…Yes no questions asked.
mifune, no contest.
Mifune. Period. There’s no other possible answer. One of the greatest screen actors ever. His collaboration with Kurosawa is, to me, the single greatest Director/Actor collaboration ever. Ever.
No one is about to deny the explosiveness and expressionist style of Mifune, but anybody who watches the duel masterpieces of acting that Takashi Shimura gives in “Ikiru” and then as the leader of the “Seven Samurai” will be hard pressed to find two finer back-to-back performances in the history of the movies. That said, how can you actually choose? I can’t, I love them both, as well as Nakadai, and all of the familiar stock company (Ko Kimura, Minoru Chiaki, etc…) that shows up in each successive film.
It isn’t just Mifune’s “explosive” and “expressionist” style that impresses. He’s equally effective when he’s more subdued, as in the magnficent RED BEARD and HIGH AND LOW. Nothing particularly “explosive” about his work in either film.
Love me some Shimura, and the sublime Minoru Chiaki, too.
Shimura for me. ‘Ikiru’ is definitely my top Kurosawa movie and he was amazing in it as well as my favorite in ‘Samurai’
Mifune is always brilliant, samurai or modern, (esp. in The Bad Sleep Well) but much better in tandem with Shimura Takashi – frankly it’s difficult to choose. Let’s not forget Nakadai!
Toshirô Mifune by far. He made Seven Samurai.
This is one of the hardest questions out there. I love all three of them, and I’m almost inclined to say Nakadai simply because everone else is giving Mifune and Shimura the glory (and deservedly so), but I’ll just give them the honor of saying that they are among my top 5 favorite actors ever. I have never seen one bad performance by any of them.
Is there really a choice? Toshiro Mifune.
It’s a tie between Mifune and Shimura for me.
Toshiro Mifune no question
Shimura. His performance as Kambei in “Seven Samurai” is about as good as it gets.
Plus you have to give him additional points for a role in Godzilla.
I certainly like Mifune but feel he can be a scenery chewer at times. Shimura is always in control while being extremely expressive.
Mifune definitely wins out in my book. His presence on screen just makes the samurai seem that much more passionate and intimidating. He’s just got that look of power. Maybe I just like him because my American mind leads me to favor the badass persona that dominates the screen, the guy that’s the loudest, the most confident, or the most drunk, in some cases. Maybe I’m just blowing smoke here.