You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Akahige

Take a season of Doctor Kildare TV skeins, throw in a half-dozen classic Hollywood hospital perennials, but do them all up with great taste and visual, cinematic flair, and you have the Akira Kurosawa pic, Red Beard. It's hokum lifted to the highest denominator, the banal made into near art by great skill and craftsmanship by the Japanese master.

With:
Toshiro Mifune Yuzo Kayama Tsutomu Yamazaki Kyoko Kagawa Miyuki Kuwano Kinuyo Tanaka

Take a season of Doctor Kildare TV skeins, throw in a half-dozen classic Hollywood hospital perennials, but do them all up with great taste and visual, cinematic flair, and you have the Akira Kurosawa pic, Red Beard. It’s hokum lifted to the highest denominator, the banal made into near art by great skill and craftsmanship by the Japanese master.

The over three-hour running time is an undeniable but adjustable defect: much of the film’s initial footage could be elegantly elided for major effect.

The main plot [from Shugoro Yamamoto’s novel] is the old chestnut about the enterprising young doctor and the misunderstood old curmudgeon, in this case ‘Red Beard’ (Toshiro Mifune). Slowly, as Kurosawa interweaves several plots, understanding for his methods grows as human relations triumph over sheer medical knowhow. [Pic is set in 1822, in Endo.]

Here and there, as noted, the plot drifts into over-familiar waters, but elsewhere it soars to stylistic and heartwarming heights which show that this is not just the routine ward drama, but has higher scope and targets. Kurosawa has blended handkerchief elements with drama shock (there’s a harrowing anesthetic operation scene), humor and lively action (a knock-down, drag-out fight).

Thesping is uniformly good, with Mifune and Yuzo Kayama standout in the two leads.

Akahige

Japan

Production: Kurosawa/Toho. Director Akira Kurosawa; Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ryuzo Kikushima; Writer Ryuzo Kikushima, Masato Ide, Hideo Oguni, Akira Kurosawa; Camera Asakazu Nakai, Takao Saito; Music Masaru Sato Art Yoshiro Muraki

Crew: (B&W) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1965. Running time: 188 MIN.

With: Toshiro Mifune Yuzo Kayama Tsutomu Yamazaki Kyoko Kagawa Miyuki Kuwano Kinuyo Tanaka

More Film

  • Amanda Crew'Barry' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    Amanda Crew, Robert Patrick Starring in Horror Movie 'Tone Deaf' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Take a season of Doctor Kildare TV skeins, throw in a half-dozen classic Hollywood hospital perennials, but do them all up with great taste and visual, cinematic flair, and you have the Akira Kurosawa pic, Red Beard. It’s hokum lifted to the highest denominator, the banal made into near art by great skill and craftsmanship […]

  • Chen Kaige Chinese director Chen Kaige

    China's Chen Kaige to Head Macao Festival Jury

    Take a season of Doctor Kildare TV skeins, throw in a half-dozen classic Hollywood hospital perennials, but do them all up with great taste and visual, cinematic flair, and you have the Akira Kurosawa pic, Red Beard. It’s hokum lifted to the highest denominator, the banal made into near art by great skill and craftsmanship […]

  • viacom logo

    International TV Growth, Paramount Gains Power Viacom Q2 Earnings

    Take a season of Doctor Kildare TV skeins, throw in a half-dozen classic Hollywood hospital perennials, but do them all up with great taste and visual, cinematic flair, and you have the Akira Kurosawa pic, Red Beard. It’s hokum lifted to the highest denominator, the banal made into near art by great skill and craftsmanship […]

  • Mia FarrowTime 100 Gala, Arrivals, New

    Mia Farrow Didn't Want Dylan Farrow to Talk About Woody Allen Sex Abuse Claims

    Take a season of Doctor Kildare TV skeins, throw in a half-dozen classic Hollywood hospital perennials, but do them all up with great taste and visual, cinematic flair, and you have the Akira Kurosawa pic, Red Beard. It’s hokum lifted to the highest denominator, the banal made into near art by great skill and craftsmanship […]

  • Melissa McCarthy The Kitchen

    Melissa McCarthy Snorts Ecstasy With Sex Crazed Puppets in 'Happytime Murders'

    Take a season of Doctor Kildare TV skeins, throw in a half-dozen classic Hollywood hospital perennials, but do them all up with great taste and visual, cinematic flair, and you have the Akira Kurosawa pic, Red Beard. It’s hokum lifted to the highest denominator, the banal made into near art by great skill and craftsmanship […]

  • It movie review

    'It: Chapter 2' Director Andy Muschietti Says 'Bring Your Adult Diapers'

    Take a season of Doctor Kildare TV skeins, throw in a half-dozen classic Hollywood hospital perennials, but do them all up with great taste and visual, cinematic flair, and you have the Akira Kurosawa pic, Red Beard. It’s hokum lifted to the highest denominator, the banal made into near art by great skill and craftsmanship […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content