We had a good fling at this one. It was premiered at the same Filmweek Utrecht where, some years before, High and Low had been such a success. Subtitles were translated and posters designed. An effort was made to combine it with Saul Bass' The Searching Eye. Apart from the usual lack of cash, worse because there was no money forthcoming from High and Low, there were more reasons why it never worked out. I am very much afraid to have been lucky here. The film is a "noble doctor movie" but really is too heavy for that type of audience.
My favorite scenes in this one:
— Kyoko Kagawa as themantisworking out on a doctor. Very strong camera movements
— the bordello fight, a bone-breaking ballet set to egg-scale crunching music
— the first encounter of two lovers in the snow
— the operation that has you squirming in your seat
— calling back, from the bottom of a well, the soul of a dying boy
The last B/W film Kurosawa made. It marked a point in his career. His films had just grown too expensive for Japan (or almost anywhere). I have been told that Kurosawa, at that point, started work on Darryll F. Zanuck's Tora! Tora! Tora!, but that he resigned or was firedbecause of historical disagreements. It must have been an awful loss of face: he had not made it in the west.
It seems Kurosawa even tried to commit suicide.
Upon his final return to Japan Kurosawa made his first color film Dodes Ka-den in 1970, followed by some very spectacular shows.
Credits - Description
185 minutes - B/W - TohoScope
Produced by Toho Co. Ltd.
Credits: Cast: executive producers
Asaichi Nakai - Takao Saito
the mental patient
Red Beard In early 19th-century Japan, Red Beard (Toshiro Mifune) is the head of a shoestring public health clinic who tries to turn his new assistant, a greedy and unrealistic young intern, into a real doctor. This striking film from Akira Kurosawa also stars Yuzo Kayama. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: Japanese Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English: audio commentary; theatrical trailer; more.
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