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Red Beard (Widescreen) [Subtitled] [Criterion Collection]

Toshir˘ Mifune , Yűz˘ Kayama , Akira Kurosawa    Unrated   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 42.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Featuring the final collaboration between esteemed director Akira Kurosawa (Kagemusha, The Seven Samurai) and actor Toshiro Mifune (Yojimbo, Hell in the Pacific), this 1965 film explores the complex and tumultuous relationship between a doctor and his protégé, and the meaning of compassion and responsibility. Mifune plays the title character, a revered but stern and unbendable physician ministering to the poor in a clinic, driven by a sense of calling to the profession of medicine and to mankind. He is assigned a young brash intern whose rebellious and arrogant attitude threaten to disrupt the hospital and destroy his burgeoning career. Under the intense tutelage of the relentlessly stern doctor, however, the young doctor in training goes from a spoiled wunderkind insulted at having to work at a clinic he thinks is beneath him, to one who appreciates the compassionate nature of a doctor's calling. A long, intimate, and engrossing film, it displays some of Mifune's finest work as a man whose profound sense of higher purpose touches all around him. An earnest exploration of duty and honor, Red Beard is an unlikely but worthy addition to the enduring legacy of Akira Kurosawa. --Robert Lane

Product Description

A testament to the goodness of humankind, Akira Kurosawa's Red Beard (Akahige) chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director. Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa, gives a powerhouse performance as the dignified yet empathic director who guides his pupil to maturity, teaching the embittered intern to appreciate the lives of his destitute patients. Perfectly capturing the look and feel of 19th-century Japan, Kurosawa weaves a fascinating tapestry of time, place, and emotion.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Kurosawa's Best Aug. 13 2009
Format:DVD
I have little to add to the other reviews: it is simply a great film by a great film maker -- well worth seeing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the master's best. June 26 2004
Format:DVD
Having recently seen "Red Beard" for the first time, I was taken by two things. First that Coppola's "White Dwarf" is a clear-cut remake of this film. Second that this one the best three hours I have spent watching a movie in a very long time.
There is a soul and heart in this film that is lacking in most movies and enough to say that it artfully uses it 3 hours with grace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kurosawa's many last things April 29 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
For those of you who don't know, Red Beard is without a doubt the last film of Kurosawa that is absolutely exceptional. Moreover, this film marks the end of many things for the director. First of all, this is the last movie where he works with Mifune. He spent nearly two years making this! It's understandable that they probably had their differences, which must have put quite a strain in their relationship. Red Beard is also Kurosawa's last black and white film. To most film fans of this genre, this is believed to also be his last film that shows so much emotion and complexity towards humans. One of the things I enjoyed most about this film was the cinematography. There are so many awesome scenes that Kurosawa films through wide lenses and long takes (Which I love). The musical score varies in emotion. This also has one of my favorite endings from a Kurosawa movie. While Seven Samurai had to be one of his best, this one was made after more than twenty years of experience from the most famous director in Japan, if not the world. In other words, Red Beard is the highest point of cinematic perfection for Akira Kurosawa.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching Classic March 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
As much as I'm a Mifune/Kurasawa fan I was concerned about the movie being three hours long when I saw the beginning. However after the story developed and gave us insight on the various characters I didn't want it to end. As usual the charismatic Mifune gave a powerhouse performance as Red Beard the head Doctor of the clinic who was very compassionate to his patients as well as those who surrounded him. It's just a pity that this was the last project Kurasawa and Mifune did together. Their collaboration remains sheer magic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing Nov. 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This is an Epic movie. It is the cure for the vanity of self indulgence. The love that is internalized will be returned.
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By "ggrow"
Format:DVD
In addition to being about the relationship between the young and old doctors, "Red Beard" is Kurosawa's can-opener for the Japanese psyche, with which he gently urges very private people everywhere to recognize how many hold deep hidden suffering inside them, which makes them ill, and the value of sharing those secrets.
Again and again, the movie is about how hidden secrets make people sick, and how the old doctor can intuit the presence of these secrets and give patients some way to relieve them.
This may be considered the deep subtext of the film, beneath the coming-of-age drama that centers on the young doctor.
The film is beautiful, strikingly directed and acted, with moments that are amazing cadenzas of acting skill, where the director allows the actors to show how much they can make out of an emotion through their body-language.
It may also appear heavy-handed and obvious at times to Western viewers, who have had a hundred years of Freudian exploration of psychosomatic medicine. But if I understand the context, Kurosawa is asking many of his Japanese viewers to consider for the first time the enormous hidden harm caused by physical and sexual abuse, extreme poverty (and extreme wealth), some uses of traditional authority, patriarchial attitudes, the prideful identification with a dead aristocracy, government policies that punish the poor, broken and bruised hearts resulting from complicated and entangled relationships, resourcefully anti-social adaptations to oppression, and other dark shadows beneath the enameled glaze of contemporary Japanese complacency.
Forgive me if that sounds overstated. But watch for it just under the surface of the fllm, again and again, and increasingly as the film goes on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Oct. 7 2003
Format:DVD
This is the most beautiful movie; its more like a long dance. I was scanning the DVD slowly during a few scenes and was mesmerized by the movements. I think it took me about 5 hours to watch it the first time (yesteday). Toshiro Mifune is the finest & most versatile actor ever, and when he works with the best director ever its always magic. I've seen many of Mifune's films with and without Kurasawa. I just needed to tell someone who could appreciate why! And I agree with the reviewer who pointed out the scene when Chobo was ill and the women were looking down the well. When Otoya's teardrop fell... well, it was brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Akahige May 24 2003
Format:DVD
This is simply the best film I've ever seen in my entire life. I've studied the films of Kurosawa Akira thoroughly and my opinion remains deeply rooted.
In a previous review of Akahige, one person mentioned the scene in which the the maids and Otoyo are screaming Chobo's name down the well. This person said this was the best scene. I have to disagree because it makes the viewer think too much about the camera, sucking the emotion out of the scene and replacing it with curiosity as to how the scene was filmed. This is a problem that occurs over and over and over again in the Wachowski brother's Matrix films. The viewer thinks about how it was really accomplished, not about any sort of sentimental value.
Other than that scene, which, actually, I believe is the worst scene, the movie is so great that it can hardly even be described in words alone. In fact, it can't because words and cinema are two different things. Watch this movie.
Just to give a little historical background, this is the final collaboration (made in 1965) between Kurosawa Akira (said to be the greatest director ever) and Mifune Toshiro (said to be the greatest actor ever). I'd also suggest watching the rest of Kurosawa Akira's films first, especially Drunken Angel, which happens to be the first time Kurosawa Akira and Mifune Toshiro worked together.
Kurosawa had never really been impressed by any actor/actress before he met Mifune. He claimed that Mifune could do in one movement what a normal actor would take three movements to express. He had just been discharged from the Japanese military and starred in half of Kurosawa Akira's films, which is quite a lot.
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