WhatCulture has ranked Kurosawa’s films from worst to best in the article Akira Kurosawa: Every Movie Ranked Worst To Best.
While going through it, I kept yelling “no! this should be ranked higher!”, but I guess if you want to rank everything higher, the order hardly changes. 🙂
That was surprisingly good, I find it hard to argue with the rankings. Maybe ‘no Regrets’ should be higher, but I have a soft spot for his immediate post war films compared to his later post Ran work. I’m also glad for the appreciation for One Wonderful Sunday.
I have more quibbles than Ugetsu. I agree about No Regrets For Our Youth, but would rank Kagemusha, Dreams, Sanjuro, Red Beard, I Live in Fear, The Hidden Fortress and Dersu Uzala lower and Dodesukaden, The Most Beautiful, The Lower Depths and Rhapsody in August higher. I also wouldn’t put Ikiru first. It’s too sentimental for me. I would put Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, High and Low and Throne of Blood higher.
I also have big quibbles with some of the descriptions, but that’s a more secondary concern. (Thinking of One Wonderful Sunday as lighthearted, for example.) Overall, as a ranking, even though it doesn’t entirely accord with my opinion, it’s a reasonable, defensible list.
What would your rankings be? I will post mine later today or tomorrow.
Trying to figure out rankings is more work than I want to go to (and also there’s a handful of movies I haven’t seen: Sanshiro Sugata II, The Quiet Duel and Maddadayo), but my top 5 would be Seven Samurai, Yojimbo/A Fistful of Dollars, High and Low and Throne of Blood (more or less tied), and Ikiru, in that order.
Drunken Angel, Stray Dog, Ran, The Lower Depths and Rashomon would round out the top 10. (Assuming I’m not forgetting anything.)
So I think the top ten could be shuffled any which way and we could argue for its merits. Here is mine (today, tomorrow I may redo it).
30.Sanshiro Sugata Part II (1945) (30)
What could have been had the censors not destroyed it?
29. The Most Beautiful (1944) (28)
Another one I watched once and never again.
28. The Men Who Tread On The Tiger’s Tail (1945) (29)
For its flaws it makes me laugh. A charming hour
27. Dodes’ka-den (1970) (24)
The color was fun, but not a great movie.
26. Rhapsody In August (1991) (23)
I love the storm scene, but so many others are just okay.
25. Sanshiro Sugata (1943) (27)
I love to think about what this movie was before it was cut up. The story in spite of the jarring cuts is very strong.
24. The Idiot (1951) (25)
I watched this and it is another one that I wondered what the original vision was.
24. The Quiet Duel (1949) (26)
I really love this one, and it is because Mifune commands the screen. I seem to like it so much better than the critics.
22. No Regrets For Our Youth (1946) (21)
21. Scandal (1950) (22)
The motorcycle scenes and MIfune, what else do you need.
20. Dreams (1990) (20)
The Blizzard, The Tunnel, and Crows! Wow! In HD, double wow! It is too bad some of the other dreams were not as powerful.
19. I Live In Fear (1955) (17)
18. Dersu Uzala (1975) (19)
A charming movie that appears to be crumbling before our eyes. It needs the Criterion treatment.
17. One Wonderful Sunday (1947) (16)
Such a sad film, at least from my perspective.
16. The Lower Depths (1957) (15)
15. Madadayo (1993) (18)
I always thought that this film was a fitting conclusion to AK’s career. I find it charming and the scenes of the passing of the seasons are so powerful.
14. Drunken Angel (1948) (13)
13. The Bad Sleep Well (1960) (12)
12. The Hidden Fortress (1958) (11)
11. Sanjuro (1962) (14)
I love this one as much for its lightheartedness as for its predecessor’s violence.
10. Stray Dog (1949) (10)
9. Red Beard (1965) (9)
8. Rashomon (1950) (6)
7. High And Low (1963) (7)
6. Throne Of Blood (1957) (5)
5. Kagemusha (1980) (8)
I think this one should get credit for the way AK treated color film like paints.
4. Yojimbo (1961) (4)
3. Seven Samurai (1954) (2)
2. Ikiru (1952) (1)
1. Ran (1985) (3)
My introduction to AK and to this day it strikes me as amazing.
@BMWRider I mostly agree with list except for Madadayo being ahead of The Lower Depths.
I won’t rank them (just yet), but I will break them into two groups. The Top 15 are what I consider his first rank films.
(Top 15) In Chronological Order:
Drunken Angel (1948)
Stray Dog (1949)
Seven Samurai (1954)
The Lower Depths (1957)
Throne of Blood (1957)
Hidden Fortress (1959)
High and Low (1963)
Red Beard (1965)
Dersu Uzala (1975)
(Bottom 15) In Chronological Order:
Sanshiro Sugata, Part I (1943)
The Most Beautiful (1944)
Sanshiro Sugata, Part II (1945)
Those Who Tread on Tiger’s Tails (1945)
*No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)
One Wonderful Sunday (1947)
The Quiet Duel (1949)
The Idiot (1951)
*Record of a Living Being (1955)
*The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
*Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (1990)
Rhapsody in August (1991)
*(I put the best five of this group in asterisks)
Log in or Register to post a comment!
Akira Kurosawa info • The Akira Kurosawa Community
Home - News - Information - Discussion
Email Alerts - Facebook - Twitter - Reddit - RSS
Akira Kurosawa info is © 2006-2022 and maintained by Vili Maunula
This is an independent website not affiliated with Akira Kurosawa, the Akira Kurosawa estate or the Kurosawa Production Company
The views expressed by visitors are their own
Powered by WordPress and love of cinema.