IMDb > The Quiet Duel (1949)

The Quiet Duel (1949) More at IMDbPro »Shizukanaru kettô (original title)


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Release Date:
30 November 1979 (USA) See more »
A surgeon gets syphilis from a patient when he cuts himself during an operation. The doctor's life is destroyed, but unlike the patient, he doesn't destroy others along with him. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
well-acted melodrama that isn't one of Kurosawa's best See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Toshirô Mifune ... Dr. Kyoji Fujisaki

Takashi Shimura ... Dr. Konosuke Fujisaki
Miki Sanjô ... Misao Matsumoto
Kenjiro Uemura ... Susumu Nakada
Chieko Nakakita ... Takiko Nakada
Noriko Sengoku ... Apprentice Nurse Rui Minegishi
Jyonosuke Miyazaki ... Cpl. Horiguchi
Isamu Yamaguchi ... Patrolman Nosaka
Shigeru Matsumoto ... Boy with appendicitis
Hiroko Machida ... Nurse Imai
Kan Takami ... Laborer
Kisao Tobita ... Boy with typhoid
Shigeyuki Miyajima ... Officer
Tadashi Date ... Father of boy with appendicitis
Etsuko Sudo ... Mother of boy with appendicitis
Seiji Izumi ... Policeman
Masateru Sasaki ... Old Soldier
Ken'ichi Miyajima ... Dealer
Yosuke Kudo ... Boy
Yakuko Ikegami ... Gaudy Woman
Wakayo Matsumura ... Student Nurse
Hatsuko Wakahara ... Mii-chan

Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kazuo Kikuta  play
Akira Kurosawa  writer
Senkichi Taniguchi  writer

Produced by
Hisao Ichikawa .... producer
Sôjirô Motoki .... producer
Original Music by
Akira Ifukube 
Cinematography by
Sôichi Aisaka 
Film Editing by
Masanori Tsujii 
Art Direction by
Koichi Imai 
Sound Department
Mitsuo Hasegawa .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Tsunekichi Shibata .... lighting technician
Isamu Shima .... still photographer
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Shizukanaru kettô" - Japan (original title)
See more »
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This film was the first film Kurosawa directed outside of Toho, as it was a co-production between Daiei Studios and the newly formed Art Film Association, of which Kurosawa was a founding member.See more »
Dr. Konosuke Fujisaki:If he had been happy, he might have become just a snob.See more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
well-acted melodrama that isn't one of Kurosawa's best, 2 August 2008
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Every Akira Kurosawa film is at least interesting, and even in a work like The Quiet Duel, which is designed possible as something of a 'minor' work in the director's cannon, there's things about it that are striking and exceptional. The opening scene of the doctor, played by Toshiro Mifune, operating on the patient who will change his life forever, has a double-sided tension to it about not just the fate of the operation but of something else (this helps if you don't know what is going to happen). The way the scene is cut, the effect of the rain outside, the pan at the floor, the rain falling on the pan and making the one louder sound, it all amounts of a near-classic Kurosawa scene. This and the climax are, arguably, the best scenes of what is otherwise a good if shaky melodrama.

The problem might just be that I'm not tuned into this tearjerker side of Kurosawa, at least one that isn't as well-cooked, so to speak, as some of his best efforts. The premise is really good, as a doctor contracts syphilis by a mistake while operating on a patient during the war, and has to treat himself with medicine and cannot find a way to tell his to-be wife about his ailment (or, in fact, why he cannot marry). And saying that this isn't entirely 'well-cooked' is to say that the premise, while fascinating, doesn't entirely develop into a fully fascinating story. There are patches that seem to kind of coast, like something one might see on day-time television (not quite soap opera but close), and it's only in the last third that things really start to pick up dramatically.

Thankfully, Mifune is on his A-game as usual with his best collaborator at the helm, particularly in a scene where he (uncharacteristically for Kurosawa) breaks down in tears after seeing his once-possible-wife off to marry someone else, and there's a strange, cool mixture of musical instruments on the soundtrack- not quite what one would expect for a melodrama (i.e. xylophone, harmonica, harps, accordions). By the climax, as I said, it gets very good with the original patient Takata coming back in a drunken, syphilis-infected frenzy to the hospital. It just isn't enough, overall, to recommend it as highly as Kurosawa's best; Red Beard and Drunken Angel, also starring Mifune, are much better as medical/hospital dramas. 7.5/10

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