In films by Akira Kurosawa and others, Mifune showed astonishing vitality and range. We present a dozen of his iconic roles, plus a new documentary.
Throne of Blood
High and Low
Mifune: The Last Samurai
Mifune is a dutiful samurai whose subservience is about to end. With music by Toru Takemitsu and an unforgettable supporting turn by Tatsuya Nakadai.
A kidnapping becomes a moral dilemma for executive Mifune in “one of the best detective thrillers ever filmed” (New York Times).
BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
Mifune is a sly, amoral mercenary in a town ruled by killers in Kurosawa’s tongue-in-cheek anti-epic. “A visually faultless and highly sophisticated satire on violence and human weakness” (Sight and Sound).
Kurosawa’s spirited follow-up to Yojimbo finds Mifune leading a band of comically inept samurai. “A superb parody” (Donald Richie).
Kurosawa charts corporate evil as a company is torn from within by scandal, greed, and lust. “Enron meets Hamlet” (Film Forum). “Better than Shakespeare” (Francis Ford Coppola).
Kurosawa’s Noh-influenced version of Macbeth is “the most brilliant and original attempt ever made to put Shakespeare on screen” (Time). Mifune is paired with the legendary Isuzu Yamada in “a partnership of titans” (Film Forum).
Mifune gives a daring performance as an eccentric patriarch with a neurotic fear of the atomic bomb. “The final effect is overwhelming, and perhaps Kurosawa’s most sweeping statement on the human condition” (Film Forum).
Oscar-winning Bay Area filmmaker Steven Okazaki pays tribute to the ferocious charisma and larger-than-life talents of the great Mifune in this supremely entertaining documentary.
A ragtag group of samurai band together to protect a village from bandits in Kurosawa’s masterpiece, often cited as one of the ten best films ever made.
Mifune swashbuckles his way through this supremely entertaining samurai adventure, the plot inspiration for Star Wars.
An act of violence is replayed through the eyes of witnesses and protagonists, each seeing a different thing, in “one of the most brilliantly constructed films of all time, a monument to Kurosawa’s greatness, and a landmark in film history” (James Monaco).
Mifune is a driven detective in Kurosawa’s bravura Tokyo noir. “A bona fide masterpiece” (Time Out).
Doctor meets tubercular gangster in the slums of postwar Japan in this noirish tale, the first film in the long collaboration between Kurosawa and Mifune.