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January 09, 2010


Kurosawa rocks! Thanks for this informative post. I did not know that John Ford was AK's hero.

In Tora no o wo fumu otokotachi (The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail) [1945], filming didn't wrap until after the surrender in September. Ford happened to be in the group that visited the set, but Kurosawa was never introduced to him, and Ford did not know anything about AK (he had only made 3 films at that time, all propaganda pieces) ... the entire visit was unfortunate; the Americans arranged the Japanese actors in ridiculous poses and played around with the prop weapons in an insulting fashion.

See my review of this film which will appear next Sunday...

This is going to be a fantastic series. Even though I'm not in NYC and can't stop by the Film Forum, I know I'll like reading these posts. Thanks. As a relative new comer to AK (saw a few films in college)in what order do you recommend someone watch them in?

Marissa, that's a very difficult question to answer -- really! I know that sounds like a cop out, but Kurosawa made so many different types of films in his career, and one woman's cup of tea may be another's stale beer ...

I would say that the top 3 (absolutely MUST-see dvd) are:

1) Ikiru (1952)
2) 7 Samurai (1954) and
3) Ran (1985)

After that, perhaps:

4) Red Beard (1965)
5) Rashomon (1950)
6) Yojimbo (1961)

Those are six of the greatest films of all time (and not just in my opinion, either!)

As I like to tell my initiates:

***Even the WORST Kurosawa film is worth watching, providing you are willing to be patient and give him time to work his magic!

Thanks for the comment. Hope you enjoy the upcoming posts.


This is an extremely informative post on one of the great filmmakers. I eagerly await the next installment and vow to see at least some of the movies.

Congratulations on this fantastic site and this wonderful analysis and contribution of data about "The stray dog"!

Notwithstanding, I would like to point out a little clarification. Ogin, the female pickpocket who stoles the pistol to Murakami, is not played by Noriko Sengoku. This character is played by the actress Teruko Kishi (in her only appearance in Kurosawa's films). Noriko Sengoku (seven films with Kurosawa) appears in "The stray dog" too, but later. Both actress were pretty different: Teruko Kishi was 17 older than Noriko Sengoku. This last one played the character of the gunrunner girl who is arrested by Murakami in the club music and later questioned by Sato (as Lewis Saul himself says on

I hope I have helped with my commentary,

Oscar Pastor
Madrid (Spain).

Thank you, Oscar. Kishi was uncredited (I wonder why? ... it was an important part!) ...

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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