Dersu Uzala (1975)

G  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  20 December 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 16,927 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 33 critic

The Russian army sends an explorer on an expedition to the snowy Siberian wilderness where he makes friends with a seasoned local hunter.


(as Akira Kurosava)


(screenplay) (as Akira Kurosava) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yuriy Solomin ...
Mikhail Bychkov ...
Otryad Arseneva (as M. Bychkov)
Vladimir Khrulev ...
Otryad Arseneva (as V. Khrulev)
V. Lastochkin ...
Otryad Arseneva
Stanislav Marin ...
Otryad Arseneva (as S. Marin)
Igor Sykhra ...
Otryad Arseneva (as I. Sykhra)
Vladimir Sergiyakov ...
Otryad Arseneva (as V. Sergiyakov)
Yanis Yakobsons ...
Otryad Arseneva (as Ya. Yakobsons)
V. Khlestov ...
Otryad Arseneva
G. Polunin ...
Otryad Arseneva
V. Koldin ...
Otryad Arseneva
M. Tetov ...
Otryad Arseneva
S. Sinyavskiy ...
Otryad Arseneva
Vladimir Sverba ...
Otryad Arseneva (as V. Sverba)


A Russian army explorer who is rescued in Siberia by a rugged Asian hunter renews his friendship with the woodsman years later when he returns as the head of a larger expedition. The hunter finds that all of his nature lore is of no help when he accompanies the explorer back to civilization. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


G | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

20 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dersu Uzala  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 536,075 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Variety magazine, a Mosfilm spokesman stated that "artistic direction of the [film] will be left 100% to Kurosawa direction." See more »


The rifle Captain Arseniev carries is a Winchester Model 1895 musket. The Russians acquired these rifles in 1915-1916, therefore the Captain most likely would not be issued a Winchester in 1905. See more »


Dersu Uzala: Fire angry, forest burn for many days. Fire get angry, frightful. Water get angry, frightful. Wind get angry, frightful. Fire, water, wind. Three mighty men.
See more »


Referenced in Cinema Falado (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

My Favorite Kurosawa
12 January 2005 | by (Palm Desert, CA. USA) – See all my reviews

I own many of Akira Kurosawa's films. I have Ran, Throne of blood, Seven Samarai, Roshomon, Dreams, Hidden Fortress, Jojimbo, Snajuro, Red Beard, and even "Kurosawa" the documentary. I guess you can say that I like his work. The "Kurosawa" documentary narrated by Sam Shepard and produced by thirteen / WNET I recommend for anyone at all interested in Kurosawa's films as it will really wet your appetite.

Of all of his films, Dersu Uzala is my favorite. It is also one of my favorite films by anybody. It was done shortly after Akira had went through a very dark time in his life and had attempted suicide. It was his first film afterwards and the content of the film appears to reflect more than a little of his mindset at the time. Dersu Uazla is both a feel good film and also a sad film. It touches the way that people as they grow older have a more and more difficult time adapting to life as it changes and has its affect on them. The end of the film can certainly show light on the inhumanity that appears to be growing more prevalent in our society. But, I think what you remember from the film is the love between two individuals, and that is what feels good.

Many of Kurosawa's films have a great deal of spectacle, and he is perhaps known best for his Samarai films. There is none of that in this movie. Dersu Uzala is a statement by Akira of life. Akira was fighting to keep making films and was not having an easy time of it. If Akira Kurosawa could not make films, he could not feel that he was living. As a result, he attempted suicide. He survived to make this film plus many others that we all enjoy today. Dersu Uzala may be the most important of his films and the one that shows the great director's true personality. Just perhaps, it shows more about humanity than any of his other films. Again, it is my favorite.

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