Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa films are admired by any filmmaker that has come across his work. The list we put together will give you a good overview of his work.

The late Japanese director Akira Kurosawa is considered by many critics to be one of the most important directors of all time. Akira Kurosawa films have influenced countless directors. From Tarantino, George Lucas to Tarkovsky. His films tackle themes including morality, crime and family. He has made films period based dramas (jedai-geki) and contemporary dramas in which ange of the themes are maintained in. So, here is a list of films that you must see by this hugely important director.

The Hidden Fortress (1958)

This drama film has influenced director George Lucas to make Star Wars, if you have seen any of the Star Wars films watch this and you will understand the hype.

Seven Samurai (1954)

Probably his greatest film, Seven Samurai has influenced countless western films such as The Magnificent Seven (1960) & (2016)

Yojimbo (1961)

A Fistful of Dollars was the unofficial remake of this film directed by Sergio Leone. A huge lawsuit followed and it was finally resolved out of court, even though Sergio Leone did not get the rights to remake the film.

Ran (1985)

Beautifully cinematic as expected from Kurosawa. Ran is a true iconic film that adds to the list of great films Kurosawa has directed. The film itself barely made the money it cost to be made in the Japanese box office, however still remains a classic.

Dreams (1990)

Funded by Warner Bros. this film was supported by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Copolla. The film isn’t the usual Kurosawa type of film, however I feel its important to have it in this list as it is inspired by real dreams of Kurosawa.

Sanjuro (1962)

Sanjuro is a sequel to to Yajimbo. Another classic by the legendary director.

Ikiru (1952)Ikiru by Kurosawa

Ikiru is classic drama film by Kurosawa. The actual film was going to be remade with Tom Hanks in 2004 but however never saw the daylight.

Stray Dog (1949)

Stray Dog is considered a precursor to the contemporary police procedural and buddy cop film genres. A must watch for any Kurosawa fan.

Drunken Angel (1948)

This is the first film where Kurosawa and Mifune collaborated. Mark Schilling cited Drunken Angel as the first film to depict post-war Yakuza in his book The Yakuza Movie Book : A Guide to Japanese Gangster Films

High and Low (1963)

High and Low is loosely based on the novel King’s Ransom by Ed McBain. As usual the film was filmed at Toho. This isn’t one of the biggest films of Kurosawa but yet very important.

To find out more about Akira Kurosawa check out this website dedicated to him and his work