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Akira Kurosawa

  • Seven Samurai [1954] Seven Samurai | DVD | (22/11/1999) from £4.99  |  Saving you £15.00 (75.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Unanimously hailed as one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of the motion picture, Seven Samurai has inspired countless films modelled after its basic premise. But Akira Kurosawa's classic 1954 action drama has never been surpassed in terms of sheer power of emotion, kinetic energy, and dynamic character development. The story is set in the 1600s, when the residents of a small Japanese village are seeking protection against repeated attacks by a band of marauding thieves. Offering mere handfuls of rice as payment, they hire seven unemployed "ronin" (masterless samurai), including a boastful swordsman (Toshiro Mifune) who is actually a farmer's son desperately seeking glory and acceptance. The samurai get acquainted with but remain distant from the villagers, knowing that their assignment may prove to be fatal. The climactic battle with the raiding thieves remains one of the most breathtaking sequences ever filmed. It's poetry in hyperactive motion and one of Kurosawa's crowning cinematic achievements. This is not a film that can be well served by any synopsis; it must be seen to be appreciated and belongs on the short list of any definitive home-video library. --Jeff Shannon

  • Seven Samurai (Blu-ray Edition) Seven Samurai (Blu-ray Edition) | Blu Ray | (25/08/2014) from £8.69  |  Saving you £11.30 (56.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    One of the greatest films ever made – Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai has influenced the work of directors from George Lucas to Steven Spielberg and spawned remakes such as John Sturges’ acclaimed The Magnificent Seven. With their village raided every year by vicious bandits a group of peasants hire seven warriors to protect them. Initially met with suspicion the warriors eventually gain the trust of the peasants and they join forces to face the bandits. This special edition includes alternative presentations of the film a new and exclusive interview with Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns and the film’s original Japanese trailer. Endlessly copied but never surpassed Seven Samurai is a truly timeless classic. Contents: Digitally re-mastered in High Definition Play with or without original intermission Original Japanese theatrical trailer The Art of Akira Kurosawa (2013 49 mins): Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns discusses Kurosawa’a career and influence Fully illustrated booklet with essays and credits

  • Seven Samurai (60th Anniversary Edition) (DVD) Seven Samurai (60th Anniversary Edition) (DVD) | DVD | (21/04/2014) from £7.69  |  Saving you £12.30 (61.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    One of the greatest films ever made Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai has influenced the work of directors from George Lucas to Steven Spielberg, and spawned remakes, such as John Sturges' acclaimed The Magnificent Seven. With their village raided every year by vicious bandits, a group of peasants hire seven warriors to protect them. Initially met with suspicion, the warriors eventually gain the trust of the peasants and they join forces to face the bandits. Newly re-mastered on DVD, this 60th anniversary special edition includes alternative presentations of the film, a new and exclusive interview with Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns, and the film's original Japanese trailer. Endlessly copied but never surpassed, Seven Samurai is a truly timeless classic Newly re-mastered High Definition transfer Play with or without original intermission Original Japanese theatrical trailer The Art of Akira Kurosawa (2013, 48 mins): Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns discusses Kurosawa'a career and influence Fully illustrated booklet with essays and credits

  • Ran (Digitally Restored) [Blu-ray] [2016] Ran (Digitally Restored) | Blu Ray | (02/05/2016) from £10.48  |  Saving you £12.51 (54.40%)  |  RRP £22.99

    One of the most important and influential film makers in cinematic history, Akira Kursawa directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. His final masterpiece, RAN has been beautifully restored in 4k for the first time. A reimagining of Shakespeare's King Lear set in feudal Japan, Ran tells the story of Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsya Nakadai Yojimbo, Kagemusha) an aging warlord who, after spending his life consolidating his empire, decides to abdicate and divide his Kingdom amongst his three sons Taro (Akira Terao - Letter from the Mountain, Dreams), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu The Man in White, Red Shadow: Akakage) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu - Tono monogatari, Gojo reisenki: Gojoe). When Saburo voices concerns about the wisdom of his father's plan, claiming that treachery within the family will be inevitable, Hidetora mistakes these comments for a threat and when his servant Tango comes to Saburo's defense, he banishes both of them. This allows Taro and Jiro to take charge, unopposed, leading to a brutal and bloody struggle for the absolute power of the warlord.

  • Ran (Digitally Restored) [DVD] [2016] Ran (Digitally Restored) | DVD | (02/05/2016) from £6.81  |  Saving you £11.18 (62.10%)  |  RRP £17.99

    One of the most important and influential film makers in cinematic history, Akira Kursawa directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. His final masterpiece, RAN has been beautifully restored in 4k for the first time. A reimagining of Shakespeare's King Lear set in feudal Japan, Ran tells the story of Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsya Nakadai Yojimbo, Kagemusha) an aging warlord who, after spending his life consolidating his empire, decides to abdicate and divide his Kingdom amongst his three sons Taro (Akira Terao - Letter from the Mountain, Dreams), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu The Man in White, Red Shadow: Akakage) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu - Tono monogatari, Gojo reisenki: Gojoe). When Saburo voices concerns about the wisdom of his father's plan, claiming that treachery within the family will be inevitable, Hidetora mistakes these comments for a threat and when his servant Tango comes to Saburo's defense, he banishes both of them. This allows Taro and Jiro to take charge, unopposed, leading to a brutal and bloody struggle for the absolute power of the warlord.

  • Yojimbo [1961] Yojimbo | DVD | (06/11/2000) from £11.97  |  Saving you £3.50 (17.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This semi-comic 1961 film by legendary director Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Ran) was inspired by the American Western genre. Kurosawa mainstay Toshirô Mifune (Seven Samurai) is cast as a drifting samurai for hire who plays both ends against the middle with two warring factions, surviving on his wits and his ability to outrun his own bad luck. Eventually the samurai seeks to eliminate both sides for his own gain and to define his own sense of honour. Yojimbo is striking for its unorthodox treatment of violence and morality, reserving judgment on the actions of its main character and instead presenting an entertaining tale with humour and much visual excitement. One of the inspirations for the "spaghetti westerns" of director Sergio Leone and later surfacing as a remake as Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis, this film offers insight into a director who influenced American films even as he was influenced by them. --Robert Lane, Amazon.com

  • Kurosawa Samurai Collection [Blu-ray] Kurosawa Samurai Collection | Blu Ray | (01/09/2014) from £24.99  |  Saving you £35.00 (58.30%)  |  RRP £59.99

    The films of Akira Kurosawa one of the cinema's greatest auteurs have had a profound effect on audiences around the world and his acclaimed samurai epics - featuring international star Toshirô Mifune - have inspired filmmakers a diverse as George Lucas and Sergio Leone. This collection marks the first time all these seminal films have been available on High Definition blu-ray in the UK. Seven Samurai (1954)When the residents of a small Japanese village seek protection they hire seven unemployed ronin' (masterless samurai). Paid only in handfuls of rice the samurai remain distant from the villagers knowing that their assignment may prove to be fatal. Unanimously hailed as one of cinema's greatest masterpieces Seven Samurai has inspired countless films including The Magnificent Seven. Japan | 1954 | 190 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 Throne of Blood (1957)In this brilliant re-imagining of Shakespeare's Macbeth Toshirô Mifune plays a samurai fated to betray his friend and master in exchange for the prestige of nobility. Kurosawa's bloody tale is a triumph of economic style and the climactic battle scene is full of remarkable and brutal imagery. Japan | 1957 | 104 minutes | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 The Hidden Fortress (1958)In this classic collaboration between Kurosawa and star Mifune a warrior and a princess try against all odds to return to their homeland with their fortune. Acknowledged by George Lucas as the inspiration for Star Wars The Hidden Fortress combines an epic tale of struggle and honour with modern comic sensibilities to masterful effect. Japan | 1958 | 138 minutes | Original aspect ratio 2.35:1 (16x9 enhanced) Yojimbo (1961)A drifting samurai for hire plays both ends against the middle with two warring factions surviving on his wits and his ability to outrun his own bad luck. Eventually the samurai seeks to eliminate both sides for his own gain and to define his own sense of honour. Yojimbo provided inspiration for A Fistful of Dollars. Japan | 1961 | 106 minutes | Widecreen 4:3 format Sanjuro (1962)After the success of Yojimbo Kurosawa teamed up once again with Mifune one year later to make this comedy of manners. The film which follows a man fighting corruption in local government offers a twist on the classic Samurai tale by gently but perfectly parodying the conventions of the Japanese period action movie tradition. Japan | 1962 | 95 minutes | Original aspect ratio 2.35:1 (16x9 enhanced)

  • Rashomon (Blu-ray) Rashomon (Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (21/09/2015) from £8.79  |  Saving you £11.20 (56.00%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This 1950 film by Akira Kurosawa is more than a classic: it's a cinematic archetype that has served as a template for many a film since. (Rashomon's most direct influence was on a Western remake, The Outrage, starring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt.) In essence, the facts surrounding a rape and murder are told from four different and contradictory points of view, suggesting the nature of truth is something less than absolute. The cast, headed by Kurosawa's favourite actor, Toshiro Mifune, is superb. --Tom Keogh

  • Kagemusha [1980] Kagemusha | DVD | (03/06/2002) from £3.84  |  Saving you £6.70 (51.60%)  |  RRP £12.99

    The 1970s were difficult years for the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Having been unable to secure full Japanese backing for his epic project Kagemusha, the 70-year-old master found American support from George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, who served as co-executive producers (through 20th Century Fox) for this magnificent 1980 production--to that date the most expensive film in Japanese history. Set in the late-16th century, Kagemusha centres on the Takeda clan, one of three warlord clans battling for control of Japan at the end of the feudal period. When their leader Lord Shingen (Tatsuya Nakadai) is mortally wounded in battle, he orders that his death be kept secret and that his "kagemusha"--or "shadow warrior"--take his place for a period of three years to prevent clan disruption and enemy takeover. The identical double is a petty thief (also played by Nakadai) spared from execution due to his uncanny resemblance to Lord Shingen--but his true identity cannot prevent the tides of fate from rising over the Takeda clan in a climactic scene of battlefield devastation. Through stunning visuals and meticulous attention to every physical and stylistic detail, Kurosawa made a film that restored his status as Japan's greatest filmmaker, and the success of Kagemusha enabled the director to make his 1985 masterpiece, Ran. --Jeff Shannon

  • Stray Dog [1949] Stray Dog | DVD | (25/03/2002) from £7.69  |  Saving you £12.30 (61.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog is a masterful mix of film noir and police thriller set on the sweltering mean streets of Occupied Tokyo. When rookie detective Murakami (Toshiro Mifune) has his pistol stolen from his pocket while on a bus his frantic attempts to track down the thief lead him to an illegal weapons market in the Tokyo underworld. But the gun has already passed from the pickpocket to a young gangster and Murakami's gun is identified as the weapon in the shooting of a woman

  • Throne of Blood (DVD) Throne of Blood (DVD) | DVD | (12/06/2017) from £8.69  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    A champion of illumination and experimental shading, Kurosawa brings his unerring eye for indelible images to Shakespeare in this 1957 adaptation of Macbeth. By changing the locale from Birnam Wood to 16th-century Japan, Kurosawa makes an oddball argument for the trans-historicity of Shakespeare's narrative; and indeed, stripped to the bare mechanics of the plot, the tale of cut-throat ambition rewarded (and thwarted) feels infinitely adaptable. What's lost in the translation, of course, is the force and beauty of the language--much of the script of Throne of Blood is maddeningly repetitive or superfluous--but striking visual images (including the surreal Cobweb Forest and some extremely artful gore) replace the sublime poetry. Toshiro Mifune is theatrically intense as Washizu, the samurai fated to betray his friend and master in exchange for the prestige of nobility; he portrays the ill-fated warrior with a passion bordering on violence, and a barely concealed conviviality. Somewhat less successful is Isuzu Yamada as Washizu's scheming wife; her poise and creepy impassivity, chilling at first, soon grows tedious. Kurosawa himself is the star of the show, though, and his masterful use of black-and-white contrast--not to mention his steady, dramatic hand with a battle scene--keeps the proceedings thrilling. A must-see for fans of Japanese cinema, as well as all you devotees of samurai weapons and armour. --Miles Bethany

  • Akira Kurosawa - The Samurai Collection [DVD] Akira Kurosawa - The Samurai Collection | DVD | (07/06/2010) from £21.89  |  Saving you £18.10 (45.30%)  |  RRP £39.99

    Akira Kurosawa: The Samurai Collection (5 Discs)

  • Yojimbo (DVD) Yojimbo (DVD) | DVD | (12/06/2017) from £8.85  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    This semi-comic 1961 film by legendary director Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Ran) was inspired by the American Western genre. Kurosawa mainstay Toshirô Mifune (Seven Samurai) is cast as a drifting samurai for hire who plays both ends against the middle with two warring factions, surviving on his wits and his ability to outrun his own bad luck. Eventually the samurai seeks to eliminate both sides for his own gain and to define his own sense of honour. Yojimbo is striking for its unorthodox treatment of violence and morality, reserving judgment on the actions of its main character and instead presenting an entertaining tale with humour and much visual excitement. One of the inspirations for the "spaghetti westerns" of director Sergio Leone and later surfacing as a remake as Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis, this film offers insight into a director who influenced American films even as he was influenced by them. --Robert Lane, Amazon.com

  • Kurosawa: Classic Collection [DVD] Kurosawa: Classic Collection | DVD | (24/10/2011) from £20.99  |  Saving you £29.00 (58.00%)  |  RRP £49.99

    Akira Kurosawa, one of the cinema's greatest auteurs, has wowed audiences and inspired filmmakers as diverse as George Lucas and Sergio Leone. This essential 5-disc box set brings together five of his most profound masterpieces exploring the many complexities of life. Included here is the beautifully nuanced Ikiru (1952); the nuclear threat themed drama I Live in Fear (1949); the humane masterpiece Red Beard (1965); the acclaimed Maxim Gorky adaptation The Lower Depths (1957); and Kurosawa's acclaimed first colour film Dodes Ka-den (1970).

  • Kurosawa: Crime Collection [DVD] Kurosawa: Crime Collection | DVD | (24/10/2011) from £19.86  |  Saving you £20.13 (50.30%)  |  RRP £39.99

    Akira Kurosawa, one of the cinema s greatest auteurs, has wowed audiences and inspired filmmakers as diverse as George Lucas and Sergio Leone. This highly collectable 4-disc box set highlights his mastery of the crime genre bringing together four of his finest thrillers. Included here is the yakuza gangster drama Drunken Angel (1948); the atmospheric police thriller Stray Dog (1949); the tale of corporate greed and corruption, The Bad Sleep Well (1947); and the gripping Ed Mcbain adaptation High and Low (1963).

  • Ran [1985] Ran | DVD | (20/11/2006) from £6.75  |  Saving you £5.94 (29.70%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Akira Kurosawa's brilliantly conceived retelling of Shakespeare's 'King Lear' magically mixes Japanese history Shakespeare's plot and Kurosawa's own feelings about loyalty in this epic masterpiece. Set in 16th century Japan an aging ruler Lord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai) announces his intention to divide his land equally among his three sons. This decision to step down unleashes a power struggle between the three when Hidetora falls prey to the false flattery bestowed upon him by the two older sons and banishes the youngest when he speaks the truth. The ruthless betrayal ultimately drives Hidetora insane destroying his entire family and kingdom. Deep human emotion and outstanding acting combine to create one of the most acclaimed foreign films of all time.

  • Early Kurosawa - Collection [DVD Boxset] Early Kurosawa - Collection | DVD | (28/03/2011) from £18.59  |  Saving you £22.40 (54.60%)  |  RRP £40.99

    This collection features six early films from master Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa; the 1943 Sanshiro Sugata Kurosawa's debut film follows a judo student's difficult but compelling spiritual journey. Its sequel Sanshiro Sugata: Part Two (1945) continues the tale of Sanshiro and his quest to become a martial arts master. 1944's Ichiban Utsukushiku (The Most Beautiful) is a propagandistic wartime drama about female volunteers employed at an optics factory. 1945's Tora No O Wo Fumu Otokotachi (They Who Step On The Tiger's Tail) is a kabuki-inspired tale about a lord who disguises himself as a monk to get past a seemingly impenetrable roadblock. 1946's Waga Seishun Ni Kuinashi (No Regrets For Our Youth) is a touching tale about a young girl from a privileged background who is exposed to Japan's peasant farmers. And finally 1947's Subarashiki Nichiyobi (One Wonderful Sunday) follows the activities of a couple who are struggling with the poor postwar economic climate of the country.

  • Throne Of Blood [1957] Throne Of Blood | DVD | (22/10/2001) from £6.99  |  Saving you £12.94 (64.70%)  |  RRP £19.99

    A champion of illumination and experimental shading, Kurosawa brings his unerring eye for indelible images to Shakespeare in this 1957 adaptation of Macbeth. By changing the locale from Birnam Wood to 16th-century Japan, Kurosawa makes an oddball argument for the trans-historicity of Shakespeare's narrative; and indeed, stripped to the bare mechanics of the plot, the tale of cut-throat ambition rewarded (and thwarted) feels infinitely adaptable. What's lost in the translation, of course, is the force and beauty of the language--much of the script of Throne of Blood is maddeningly repetitive or superfluous--but striking visual images (including the surreal Cobweb Forest and some extremely artful gore) replace the sublime poetry. Toshiro Mifune is theatrically intense as Washizu, the samurai fated to betray his friend and master in exchange for the prestige of nobility; he portrays the ill-fated warrior with a passion bordering on violence, and a barely concealed conviviality. Somewhat less successful is Isuzu Yamada as Washizu's scheming wife; her poise and creepy impassivity, chilling at first, soon grows tedious. Kurosawa himself is the star of the show, though, and his masterful use of black-and-white contrast--not to mention his steady, dramatic hand with a battle scene--keeps the proceedings thrilling. A must-see for fans of Japanese cinema, as well as all you devotees of samurai weapons and armour. --Miles Bethany

  • The Silent Duel The Silent Duel | DVD | (22/10/2007) from £6.49  |  Saving you £13.50 (67.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    This 1949 rarely-seen masterpiece from legendary director Akira Kurosawa has never-before been released in the UK. During a life-saving operation young army surgeon Fujisaki (Mifune) contracts syphilis from a patient a disease virtually incurable in 1940's Japan and is forced to abandon his own true love. Based on an acclaimed play by Kazuo Nikuta The Silent Duel marked the second of numerous collaborations between the director and leading man Toshiro Mifune.

  • Drunken Angel [1948] Drunken Angel | DVD | (25/07/2005) from £4.49  |  Saving you £15.50 (77.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Post-war Japan anatomised in the combative relationship between an alcoholic doctor (Takeshi Shimura) and his patient (Toshiro Mifune) a wounded young gangster. This is the film that was considered to be Kurosawa's breakthrough movie illuminating themes that would go on to dominate his succeeding work. 'Drunken Angel' also marked his first - of many - collaborations with Toshiro Mifune here playing the tubercular Yakuza hoodlum.

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