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Dersu Uzala (1975)

G  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  20 December 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 16,732 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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Title: Dersu Uzala (1975)

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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
See  »

Did You Know?


In an interview conducted for the 1999 RUSCICO DVD issue of the film, co-star Yuriy Solomin stated that Akira Kurosawa had long known of Arsenyev's book and had planned to make a film version very early in his career in the late 1930s, but had dropped the project after realising that it had to be made in the region where the events had actually taken place. 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 Castle: The Way of the Ninja (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Dersu!! Kapitan!!
28 January 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

A wonderful film. It showcases the natural beauty of the Taiga and presents a contrast between the technological and the pastoral. Dersu is one with the forest. He knows its ways and its moods. The Russians scoff at his ways and his 'primitive' belief system, but eventually come to rely on him, and even love him. It is a beautiful story that takes place in an world that very few of us in the West have had a chance to see. I thought the fact that the film was set in the pre-revolutionary period gave it a peculiar sort of charm - Russia before the Great War and the Russian Revolution was innocent and even naive, the same way the Russian soldiers were innocent of the wonders and the dangers of the Taiga. One of the things I loved most about this film was the cinematography - there are long, lingering shots of the landscape, the endless steppe, the forest, the rivers, the mountains. We believe ourselves to be powerful because we have been moderately successful in our attempts to harness nature for our own uses, but the film shows us that we are deluding ourselves, that nature cannot be controlled or resisted, and the truly powerful are those, like Dersu, who co-exist in harmony with nature and learn what the wilderness teaches.

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