62 user 43 critic

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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Kyojô Niide
Yûzô Kayama ...
Dr. Noboru Yasumoto
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Reiko Dan ...
Miyuki Kuwano ...
Kyôko Kagawa ...
Tatsuyoshi Ehara ...
Genzô Tsugawa
Terumi Niki ...
Akemi Negishi ...
Yoshitaka Zushi ...
Yoshio Tsuchiya ...
Dr. Handayû Mori
Eijirô Tôno ...
Tokubei Izumiya
Mr. Yasumoto
Haruko Sugimura ...
Kin, the madam


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

Plot Keywords:

clinic | intern | doctor | japan | japanese | See All (27) »


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




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 December 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Beard  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Before filming the flashback scene were Sahachi is dying in Red Beard's clinic, Kurosawa played the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, instructing the cast that this was how he wanted to audience to feel when watching this scene. It was the first scene being filmed for the movie, and helped set the tone for the rest of the film. See more »


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 »


Dr. Kyojô Niide: [At Lord Matsudaira's mansion: the overweight lord and his chamberlain are being counseled by Dr. Niide] As I've said, you're not ill, my lord. But you're in much worse condition. It is due to a life of luxury and ease. You indulge in rich food, you hold nothing heavier than chopsticks. Fat gathers, intake and discharge lose their balance.
Dr. Kyojô Niide: [Now reviewing the lord's menu with the chamberlain] I told you that white rice is detrimental to his health... One bowl of seven parts wheat and three parts ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Perhaps too sincere for an American audience
22 March 2005 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

The story is about a young doctor who thinks a posting at a public medical clinic is below his station. But the gruff Red Beard teaches him a thing or two. The film endeavors to heighten awareness of human suffering. The viewer identifies with the young doctor and learns with him about the evils of the world and the ever-surprising lengths Red Beard goes to to mitigate them.

There is ample humor, sparse dialogue, and excellent characterization. Cinematography and other finer features are somewhat pedestrian. Yet the film is touching and memorable. It is not melodramatic, cheap, or smarmy--it is one of the films whose appeal reaches other times and nations besides 1960s Japan.

18 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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