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Blogs on Kurosawa's symbiotic relationship with Mifune, Shimura and Nakadai

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    Vili Maunula

    As part of a blogathon about symbiotic film collaborators, three articles have been posted on Kurosawa’s relationship with his best known actors. They are:

    Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, an article about the professional relationship between Kurosawa and his most famous actor.

    Kurosawa and Nakadai: Creator and Chameleon, which looks at Kurosawa’s history with Tatsuya Nakadai.

    Takashi Shimura and Akira Kurosawa in turn discusses Kurosawa and Shimura.

    They don’t necessarily contain much that you don’t already know, but it’s always nice to see articles like these.

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    chomei

    I have always felt that Shimura has not been as appreciated as he should be. One of the greatest actors I have ever seen. Ikuru is enough to convince anyone of that. Yet in his autobiography Kurosawa hardly mentions him. And isn’t Madadayo another version of Ikuru, but instead of a movie about a man who did nothing in his life, a film about a man who was an inspiration to many? And wouldn’t Shimura been perfect in Madadayo?

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    Ugetsu

    I agree chomei, its a shame sometimes that Shimura is not as well remembered as Mifune – although perhaps that is the fate of pure ‘actors’ as opposed to ‘stars’. It hadn’t occurred to me that he would be good in Madadayo, but now that you mention it, the part would have been perfect for him had he lived long enough.

    I wonder though has any actor in history had as great a single year as 1954 as Shimura? To star in Seven Samurai and Godzilla! How could anyone top that?

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    lawless

    I agree that the less-flashy Simura often doesn’t get his due.

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    Longstone

    I’m with all of you here too , Shimura’s acting has always been fine and enjoyable in all the Kurosawa films,
    and a good point that he doesn’t seem to get much coverage or discussion in english . I wonder if this is the same in Japan too ?
    It got me trying to think what non-Kurosawa films I’ve seen him in ? Godzilla is a good shout Ugetsu ,
    also Japan’s Longest Day ( Kihachi Okamoto ) which also has Mifune and Nakadai in plus a few other stars too. There must be some others I’m sure .

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