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Top Fifty Films of the 40s — Number Twenty

#20 — Drunken Angel (Akira Kurosawa, 1948) One of film history’s most amazing partnerships between director and actor begins here. Akira Kurosawa cast Toshiro Mifune sixteen times over a span of fewer than twenty years, making the actor feel like

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Top Fifty Films of the 50s — Number Five

#5 — Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950) A story about the making of Rashomon insists that the actors were regularly asking director Akira Kurosawa to divulge the “official” version of the story they were telling in the film. That likely went

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Top Fifty Films of the 50s — Number Twelve

#12 — Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957) Apparently, the official translation of the original Japanese title of Akira Kurosawa’s revisioning of Macbeth is Spider Web Castle. This isn’t purely metaphor, since the game of thrones being played in the

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Top Fifty Films of the 50s — Number Nineteen

#19 — Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) Seven Samurai is an unassuming epic. It may seem a strange description for the three hour tale of a band of misfit warriors recruited by a desperate rural town to stand up to

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From the Archive: Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

According to the gimmicky title scrawled across the top of my radio script (“Reel Thing V: The Final Frontier”), this review was featured in the fifth episode of our weekly movie review program. This was clearly a week in which

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Frears, Kurosawa, Robson, Sturges, Taylor

Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954). I sometimes identify Akira Kurosawa’s Ran as epic filmmaking writ as large as the screen allows. Seven Samurai, made over thirty years earlier, is epic filmmaking in the inverse, pruned and delicate and piercingly intimate.

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Katzin, Kurosawa, Muschietti, Walsh, Wise

Colorado Territory (Raoul Walsh, 1949). This Raoul Walsh western both locks in on the form and offers a sort of sour, woozy commentary on its many tropes. Joel McRae plays a notorious outlaw who’s sprung from jail and gets himself

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