First Four Films Of Akira Kurosawa, The: Eclipse From The Criterion Collection

Criterion   (1943) / Region 1
First Four Films Of Akira Kurosawa, The: Eclipse From The Criterion Collection

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First Four Films Of Akira Kurosawa, The: Eclipse From The Criterion Collection

Years before Akira Kurosawa changed the face of cinema with such iconic works as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Yojimbo, he made his start in the Japanese film industry with four popular and exceptional works, created while World War II was raging. All gripping dramas, those rare early films - Sanshiro Sugata; The Most Beautiful; Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two; and The Men Who Tread On The Tiger's Tail - are

collected here, including a two-part martial arts saga, a portrait of female volunteers helping the war effort, and a kabuki-derived tale of deception. These captivating films are a glorious introduction to a peerless career.

Sanshiro Sugata

Kurosawa's effortless debut is based on a novel by Tsuneo Tomita about the rivalry between judo and jujitsu. Starring Susumu Fujita as the title character, Sanshiro Sugata is a dazzling martial-arts action tale, but it's also a moving story of moral education and

enlightenment that's quintessential Kurosawa.

The Most Beautiful

This portrait of female volunteer workers at an optics plant during World War II, shot on location at the Nippon Kogaku factory, was created with a patriotic agenda. Yet thanks to the director's groundbreaking semidocumentary approach to the material, The Most Beautiful is a revealing look at Japanese women of the era that anticipates the aesthetics of Japanese cinema's postwar social realism.

Sanshiro Sugata, Part Two

Kurosawa's first film was such a success that the studio pressured the director into making a sequel. The result is a hugely entertaining adventure, reuniting most of the major players from the original and featuring a two-part narrative in which Sanshiro first fights a pair of Americans and then finds himself the target of a revenge mission

undertaken by the brothers of the original film's villain.

The Men Who Tread On The Tiger's Tail

The fourth film from Kurosawa is based on a sacred twelfth-century incident in which the lord Yoshitsune, with the help of a group of samurai, crossed enemy territory disguised as a monk. The story was dramatized for centuries in Noh and kabuki theater, and here it

becomes one of the director's most riveting early films.


  • Length
  • Rating NR
  • Released:
  • Added May 19 2010
  • Production Year 1943
  • Empire SKU 1533668
  • UPC Code 715515062619
  • Studio  Criterion
  • Packaging Keep
  • Number of Discs 4
  • Disc DS-DL
  • Subtitles English


Features Not Specified


  • Audio
    Japanese Dolby Digital Mono
  • Video
    Standard 1.33:1 B&W

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