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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.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I have little to add to the other reviews: it is simply a great film by a great film maker -- well worth seeing.Published on Aug. 13 2009 by William Roberts
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. Read morePublished on June 26 2004 by Steven C. Sick
As much as I'm a Mifune/Kurasawa fan I was concerned about the movie being three hours long when I saw the beginning. Read morePublished on March 15 2004
This is an Epic movie. It is the cure for the vanity of self indulgence. The love that is internalized will be returned.Published on Nov. 29 2003
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. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2003 by J. G. Hyde
In my opinion, this is one of Akira Kurosawa's best films, which means it is automatically a classic of world cinema. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2003 by Michael Lindsey
Not only is this Kurosawa's best, but My all time Favorite movie ever made!Published on Dec 11 2002 by Avid Brett Adams