Photo of Akira Kurosawa Akira Kurosawa

World-renowned director Akira Kurosawa was born March 23, 1910, in Tokyo. After art training, he apprenticed at a film studio in 1936 and began directing during the war years. It was in the postwar period that his movies began to be hailed as masterpieces of action, insight and style in the West.

Rashomon (1950) was awarded the Best Foreign Film Oscar, and four years later, the international success of The Seven Samurai propelled Kurosawa to the forefront of filmmaking giants for decades to come. These and his subsequent movies have inspired numerous Hollywood remakes and imitations, the most famous example being 1960's The Magnificent Seven, a Western version of The Seven Samurai.

Kurosawa's later works include Yojimbo (1961), Dersu Uzala (1975), Kagemusha (1980) and Ran (1985). He was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1990 and died in Tokyo on Sept. 6, 1998.

Akira Kurosawa in Yojimbo

Yojimbo

1961 NR

Masterless samurai Sanjuro Kuwabatake (Toshiro Mifune) finds himself in a feud-torn Japanese village in legendary director Akira Kurosawa's darkly comic film, which served as the prototype for Clint Eastwood's A Fistful of Dollars. As two factions of ruthless crime lords battle, Kuwabatake secretly convinces each side to hire him as protection against the other. When they discover his ruse, he's sent to prison, but his master plan is already underway.

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