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Akira Kurosawa

This is a man who brought Asian cinema to the world with the release of Rashomon, and was named 'Asian of the Century' by AsianWeek magazine. Discover his astonishing range of works, from early classics to avowed masterpieces such as Seven Samurai.

The legendary Japanese director’s influence on cinema history is immense, from establishing the samurai film to inspiring the spaghetti western.

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Enjoy subscription-only classic and cult films from across the decades.  Free for 14 days, then £4.99 a month - cancel any time

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The Bad Sleep WellThe Bad Sleep Well

Crime1960151 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

The first film made by Akira Kurosawa's own production company is a dark tale of greed, corporate corruption and revenge.

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Dodes'Ka-DenDodes'Ka-Den

Drama1970140 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s first colour film is an eccentric and joyous account of a group of disparate people living in a city dump.

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Drunken AngelDrunken Angel

Film noir194898 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Part gangster film, part melodrama and part social critique, Akira Kurosawa's first critical success follows the troubled friendship between a disillusioned doctor and a young yakuza.

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The Hidden FortressThe Hidden Fortress

Martial arts1958139 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s thrilling mix of fairy story and samurai movie - a story of rival clans, hidden gold and a princess in distress - was famously a key inspiration for George Lucas’ Star Wars.

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High and LowHigh and Low

Crime1963143 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s procedural crime masterpiece, from Ed McBain’s gritty novel, follows an industrialist who faces an agonising choice as a result of a botched kidnapping by ruthless criminals.

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Throne of BloodThrone of Blood

Drama1957110 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

A master of period-drama, Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai) recasts Macbeth as a Japanese warlord in one of the greatest Shakespearean adaptations.

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YojimboYojimbo

Crime1961111 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Kurosawa’s classic about a drifting samurai who plays two gangs off against each other, famously remade as A Fistful of Dollars.

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The Lower DepthsThe Lower Depths

Drama1957125 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s novel, in which inhabitants of a slum revel in illusions to avoid bitter reality.

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The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's TailThe Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail

Martial arts195259 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Adapted from Noh and Kabuki theatre, Kurosawa’s classic tale of deception sees a lord and his bodyguard disguise themselves as monks to bypass an enemy roadblock.

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The Most BeautifulThe Most Beautiful

War194485 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s artful propaganda film provides a fascinating portrait of female volunteer workers in an optics factory during wartime.

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No Regrets for Our YouthNo Regrets for Our Youth

Drama1946110 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Kurosawa's first post-war film stars Setsuko Hara as the privileged daughter of a professor who takes up arms against the Japanese military.

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One Wonderful SundayOne Wonderful Sunday

Drama1947109 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Kurosawa’s bitter-sweet story of young love set in the devastation of post-war Tokyo.

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RanRan

Drama1985154 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s visually spectacular epic transplants Shakespeare’s King Lear from Celtic Britain to feudal Japan.

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RashomonRashomon

Crime195088 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Credited with bringing Japanese cinema to worldwide audiences, Akira Kurosawa’s breakthrough tells the story of a murder in the woods from four differing perspectives.

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Red BeardRed Beard

Drama1965180 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Kurosawa’s episodic, poignant story of a 19th-century doctor (Toshiro Mifune) working in a clinic for the poor and his tumultuous friendship with young intern.

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SanjuroSanjuro

Crime196296 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

In Akira Kurosawa's comedy of manners, a ronin runs rings around nine young, clean-cut samurai while cleaning up a spot of corruption in local government.

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Sanshiro SugataSanshiro Sugata

Crime194379 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Kurosawa’s assured debut film about a young man’s spiritual journey through the study and practice of judo.

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Sanshiro Sugata part twoSanshiro Sugata part two

Crime194579 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

This sequel reunites most of the principal cast from the original and follows Sanshiro face a new set of enemies whilst continuing his quest to become a judo master.

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Seven SamuraiSeven Samurai

Drama1954207 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Farmers hire a band of samurai to defend them against marauding bandits in Kurosawa’s influential epic, a touchstone for action movies ever since.

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Stray DogStray Dog

Crime1949122 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s masterful mix of film noir and police thriller set on the sweltering mean streets of occupied Tokyo.

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I Live in FearI Live in Fear

Drama1955103 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Toshiro Mifune delivers an outstanding performance as a paranoid man striving to move his family to Brazil to escape the nuclear holocaust which he fears is imminent.

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IkiruIkiru

Drama1952143 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Takashi Shimura is superb as a bureaucrat diagnosed with cancer in Akira Kurosawa’s lyrical and moving film about how we find meaning in our lives.