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- Red Beard
- 185 min.
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Somehow I can't imagine an Ozu drama where an old country doctor single handedly puts down a rowdy gang of toughs.
Is there a clause in Toshiro Mifune's contract stipulating that he must kick no less than 15 asses in every picture?
One of Kurosawa's finest films...One of the supreme masterpieces of cinema! Beautiful and profound.
Mifune is riveting in (and as) Red Beard, Kurosawa's epic about country doctors in Feudal Japan, a film that has a pretty straightforward, even predictable, premise - young ambitious doctor is pissed he has to intern in a country hospital, but eventually learns the true meaning of the vocation through his gruff, red-bearded mentor - and seems to take its time about it as various patients tell their stories, etc. But by the second half, Kurosawa's intent becomes clear, as do his reasons for setting it in a historical setting. Feudal medicine is, let's face it, a bit of a horror show, so what the doctors offer is kindness in an unkind world. And that's what Red Beard is really about. Kindness. Showing it, teaching it, and learning it. And the more that theme came to the fore, the more I wept. Well beyond the amazing cinematography, and that badass fight scene, the intense lesson in kindness is what floored me. Destroyed me, even. This may well be the greatest medical drama ever put to film.
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In 7 official lists
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This movie ranks #9 in IMDb's 1960s Top 50
This movie ranks #32 in Total Film's 50 Amazing Films You've Probably Never Seen
This movie ranks #139 in Kinema Junpo's Top 200 Japanese Films
This movie ranks #141 in iCheckMovies's Most Favorited
This movie ranks #162 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #375 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
This movie ranks #962 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films