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Postwar Kurosawa Box (1946-1955)

Cast: Masayuki Mori, Masayuki Mori, Toshiro Mifune, more...
Director: Akira Kurosawa, Akira Kurosawa, Akira Kurosawa
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Criterion, Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd., Panorama
Genre: Classics, Drama, Foreign, Romance, Politics and Social Issues, Japan, Classic Drama, Weepies, War, WWII, Criterion Collection
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

Postwar Kurosawa Box: I Live in Fear (1955)
Kiichi Nakajima, an elderly foundry owner, is so frightened and obsessed with the idea of nuclear extermination that his family decides to have him ruled incompetent. Nakajima's fervent wish is for his family to join him in escaping from Japan to the relative safety of South America. Harada, a civil volunteer in the case, sympathizes with Nakajima's conviction, but the old man's irrational behaviour prevents the court from taking his fears seriously.

Postwar Kurosawa Box: No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)
Based on the Takikawa incident of 1933, in which a prominent professor was forced out of his position by the government for his leftist views, Akira Kurosawa directs this socially minded tale about a pure-hearted lass coming to terms with the corrupt nature of the world. Though professor Yagihara (played by silent film star Denjiro Okochi) is relieved of his teaching responsibilities, his young vivacious daughter, Yukie (Setsuko Hara), remains blithely unaware of the fractious state of Japanese society of the time. Yet she quickly understands when one of her father's students, Ryukichi Noge (Susumu Fujita) -- who Yukie has quietly fallen in love with -- is jailed for his writings. He is eventually freed and they move in together. Later, he is accused of being a spy and shot. Yukie decides to not only carry his ashes back to his rural hometown, but she resolves to live near his remains and work among the village's farmers. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Postwar Kurosawa Box: One Wonderful Sunday (1947)
Akira Kurosawa directs this romantic comedy about a pair of lovers struggling to have a pleasant Sunday outing. A young laborer named Yuzo (Isao Numazaki) and his fiancée, Masako (Chieko Nakakita), meet at the train station on their day off. With the weather beautiful and only a scant 35 yen in their pockets, the two first visit a model house, where Masako imagines being a housewife. Then Yuzo plays baseball with some boys, resulting in the ball landing on a cookie shop display. After buying the two crushed cookies, they pop in on a floorshow without paying admission, and then go to the zoo. Later, a scalper beats up Yuzo for trying to haggle for the price. Afterwards, they go back to his cramped room where they almost succumb to amorous feelings. Instead, they go and get coffee, where Yuzo is forced to leave his raincoat to pay for the bill. Walking past some ruins, they image running their own coffee shop. Their wonderful Sunday comes to an end with Masako hopping back on the train just after making plans for the following week. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Postwar Kurosawa Box: Scandal (1950)
Released in Japan as Shubun, Scandal was the eleventh film directed by Akira Kurosawa (it was produced just prior to his more famous Rashomon). The director described it as a "protest" film about press journalism. The film sets forth the theory that the postwar Japanese press was too free in its insinuations, and that personal privacy had been sacrificed for the sake of sensationalism (The more things change...) Based on a story related to Kurosawa at a bar (!), the film traces the tragedy that results when a prominent lawyer is skewered by the press. Scandal ends with the hospital death of the lawyer's daughter--which didn't happen in the real-life anecdote. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Postwar Kurosawa Box: The Idiot (1951)
A former soldier is branded an idiot because of his epileptic seizures caused by wartime experiences. He shows unbridled compassion for people after he moves in with friends of his family as he tries to help a young man ruined by the war and a woman hounded by a wealthy but cruel suitor. All the characters are victims of the war and its devastating emotional aftershocks. Taken from Feodor Dostoyevsky's classic novel, the screenplay was written by the film's director, Akira Kurosawa. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Postwar Kurosawa Box: I Live in Fear (1955)
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7.22 (9 votes)
Postwar Kurosawa Box: No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)
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7.57 (7 votes)
Postwar Kurosawa Box: One Wonderful Sunday (1947)
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7.11 (9 votes)
Postwar Kurosawa Box: Scandal (1950)
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6.30 (10 votes)
Postwar Kurosawa Box: The Idiot (1951)
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6.45 (11 votes)

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