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Red Beard (1965)

Akahige (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 19 December 1968 (USA)
In 19th-century Japan, a rough-tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Masato Ide (screenplay), Hideo Oguni (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Dr. Kyojô Niide
Yûzô Kayama ... Dr. Noboru Yasumoto
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Sahachi
Reiko Dan Reiko Dan ... Osugi
Miyuki Kuwano ... Onaka
Kyôko Kagawa ... Madwoman
Tatsuyoshi Ehara Tatsuyoshi Ehara ... Genzô Tsugawa
Terumi Niki Terumi Niki ... Otoyo
Akemi Negishi ... Okuni, the mistress
Yoshitaka Zushi Yoshitaka Zushi ... Chôji
Yoshio Tsuchiya Yoshio Tsuchiya ... Dr. Handayû Mori
Eijirô Tôno ... Goheiji
Takashi Shimura ... Tokubei Izumiya
Chishû Ryû ... Mr. Yasumoto
Haruko Sugimura ... Kin, the madam
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Storyline

In a charity hospital, a hard-bitten but honorable older doctor, Dr. Niide, takes a young intern under his guidance through the course of a number of difficult cases. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What is the key to life - power, prestige or peace? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

19 December 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Beard See more »

Filming Locations:

Toho Studios, Tokyo, Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,942, 28 July 2002

Gross USA:

$46,808

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$46,808
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Toshiro Mifune usually appeared in several films a year for Toho, doing many cameos and guest roles. However, he chose not to do any that year as he filmed Red Beard, allowing himself to be fully immersed in what would be his last film for Kurosawa. See more »

Goofs

Niide's uniform is drenched when he arrives at Sahachi's house, but is completely dry when he goes to leave a short time later. See more »

Quotes

Genzo Tsugawa: We eat here. It's called the dining room. We must not eat or drink in our rooms. They're all Red Beard's rules.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Akira Kurosawa Movies (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Towards enlightenment
9 February 2003 | by jandesimpsonSee all my reviews

"Red Beard" is the noble conclusion to Kurosawa's monochrome period which undoubtedly contained his finest work. Although there were beautifully choreographed action scenes still to come in "Kagemusha" and "Ran", nothing was quite the same after this quiet meditation on the stirrings of humanity in a dark and otherwise uncaring world. The period is early 19th century, the place a hospital for the socially impoverished run by a doctor who manages to combine idealism and pragmatism, the two essential ingredients needed to facilitate the emergence of enlightenment. Although the great Toshiro Mifune dominates the film as the hospital head, it is the effect of his presence on the young doctor who pays him a visit that is the main theme of the narrative. Yasumoto, selfish and ambitious, has no intention to begin with of devoting his services to the hospital but one by one his defences collapse as he learns from the example of an idealist who has shed all vestiges of selfishness. There are constant reminders that medicine was at a rudimentary stage in its development and of the dedication needed by pioneers at a time when most answers still remained unknown and everything was largely a matter of easing rather than curing. I would not claim that "Red Beard" is among Kurosawa's half dozen greatest works. At just over three hours it sprawls in a discursive way. A lengthy flashback of a dying patient's reasons for seeking a form of absolution rather impedes the narrative flow in spite of some impressive visuals of snowscapes and an earthquake. But then the structure of the whole film rather has the episodic quality of a soap opera where momentum is maintained by proceeding from one crisis to another. Nevertheless it is full of wonderfully contrasted sequences from the knockabout humour of Mifune applying his medical skills to warding off a group of assailants by breaking their limbs like matchsticks to the tender scene of the young doctor being nursed back from sickness by the girl rescued from enslavement in a brothel. And then there is the rain. Where would a Kurosawa film be without those torrential downpours to remind us of the physical discomfiture that a journey towards enlightenment entails.


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