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Akira Kurosawa facts

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Director Stanley Kubrick, known for his endless takes and long production schedules, obsessed for months over the proper response to a fan letter from the great director Akira Kurosawa. Following many unsent drafts over several months, Kurosawa died before Kubrick could reply.

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Director Akira Kurosawa was so impressed with The Magnificent Seven, the American adaptation of his own film, Seven Samurai, that he presented director John Sturges with a sword

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across. Here are 17 of the best facts about Akira Kurosawa Filmography and Akira Kurosawa Films I managed to collect.

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  1. Film director Akira Kurosawa hired expert archers to shoot real arrows at Toshiro Mifune while he dodged them in choreographed movements. Mifune’s visible terror is quite real.

  2. Akira Kurosawa attempted suicide in 1971 by slashing his throat. He had been unable to secure financing for his films, fired from a 20th Century Fox epic production, and considered by many as old-fashioned. His hardships continued until the mid 1980s when he made Ran, his last masterwork.

  3. Akira Kurosawa died before Stanley Kubrick could reply to his letter because he spent months drafting it.

  4. When Akira Kurosawa was filming the scenes at the gate in Rashomon, he ordered to tint the water used for the rain with black ink so camera lenses could capture it clearly.

  5. Toshiro Mifune, star of many Akira Kurosawa films, was offered the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader

  6. Star Wars IV was heavily influenced by the Akira Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress. So much so that the first drafts of the film read like a straight space adaptation of Kurosawa’s adventure film.

  7. George Lucas coerced 20th Century Fox into producing Akira Kurosawa's film Kagemusha after finding out that Kurosawa had been unable to secure funding for any of his films.

  8. The U.S. Marine Corp helped Akira Kurosawa build the set for his famous retelling of MacBeth - Throne of Blood (1957)

  9. The observation of contradictory interpretations from multiple people who witnessed the same event is known as the Rashomon effect, in reference to a 1950 Akira Kurosawa movie where a bandit, a dead samurai, his widow, and a woodcutter explain a crime with no conclusion of what truly transpired.

  10. During the filming of 'The Most Beautiful' in 1944, Japanese Director Akira Kurosawa's actresses formed an informal union. Despite constantly arguing with their leader, Yoko Yaguchi, the two ended up growing close and wed after filming, remaining married until their deaths.

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As A Fistful of Dollars was the Western adaptation of Akira Kurosawa's Samurai flick Yojimbo (literally "The Bodyguard"), its Japanese title is aptly translated as "Boya no Yojimbo" ("The Wasteland Bodyguard").

Out of the two films Akira Kurosawa directed that won the Oscar for Foreign Language film, one was a Russian film made in the Soviet Union. - source

The original Star Wars film has an uncanny resemblance in parts to Akira Kurosawa's 1958 'Hidden Fortress' film. Lucas has mentioned being a huge fan & influenced by Kurosawa, but has not stated that scenes were directly pulled from Kurosawa's. Additional links in comments. - source

In 1976 legendary directors Francis Ford Coppola and Akira Kurosawa collaborated to make Suntory Whiskey commercials in Japan.

Akira Kurosawa's desire for authenticity in his film Red Beard was so great that he had the hospital set stocked with expensive period-appropriate supplies. Even the drawers that were never opened or referred to in the film were filled with pills. - source

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