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Akira Kurosawa

MUBI Special

Red Beard

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1965

A testament to the goodness of humankind, Akira Kurosawa’s Red Beard chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director (Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa).

High and Low

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1963

In the midst of an attempt to take over his company, a powerhouse executive is hit with a huge ransom demand when his servants son is kidnapped. An adaption of Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom.

Yojimbo

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1961

A nameless ronin wonders into a rural village in feudal Japan. To restore peace in the community, he concocts a plan to play the two head rivals, fighting for monopoly of the local gambling trade, against one another.

The Hidden Fortress

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1958

A pair of greedy peasants agrees to lead a man and woman through hostile territory to safety in exchange for gold, unaware that they are a princess and her general.

Throne of Blood

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1957

Toshiro Mifune plays a hardened general who fulfills a dark prophecy of rising to power in Akira Kurosawa’s reimagining of Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in feudal Japan.

Stray Dog

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1949

When a pickpocket steals a rookie detective’s gun on a hot, crowded bus, the cop goes undercover in a desperate attempt to right the wrong. Kurosawa’s thrilling noir probes the squalid world of postwar Japan and the nature of the criminal mind.

Ikiru

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1952

After learning that his stomach cancer has left him with less than a year to live, a Tokyo bureaucrat struggles to reconcile with his impending death and begins looking for ways to make his remaining days meaningful.

One Wonderful Sunday

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1947

This affectionate paean to young love is also a frank examination by Akira Kurosawa of the harsh realities of postwar Japan. During a Sunday trip into war-ravaged Tokyo, Yuzo and Masako look for work and lodging, as well as affordable entertainments to pass the time.

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1945

The fourth film from Akira Kurosawa is based on a legendary twelfth-century incident in which the lord Yoshitsune and a group of samurai retainers dressed as monks in order to pass through a dangerous enemy checkpoint.

The Most Beautiful

Akira Kurosawa Japan, 1944

This portrait of female volunteer workers at an optics plant during World War II, shot on location at the Nippon Kogaku factory, was created with a patriotic agenda. Yet it anticipates the aesthetics of Japanese cinema’s postwar social realism.

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.