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

Director:

Akira Kurosawa (as Akira Kurosava)

Writers:

Akira Kurosawa (screenplay) (as Akira Kurosava), Yuriy Nagibin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is man and beast at nature's mercy. There is awe and love and reverence. And there is the man called... See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa did this film in the USSR as no Japanese studio wanted to fund him at the time. See more »

Goofs

In the burial scene, the shadows of the actors make it clear that there is a fake backdrop. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man in Horse-Drawn Cart: Looking for something?
Arsenev: Yes, a grave.
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Connections

Referenced in Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) See more »

User Reviews

 
Art!
9 July 2005 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

Akira Kurosawa was a masterful director and powerful storyteller, Dersu has always been my favourite of his films. It was also the first I saw - on Christmas Day afternoon 1978 on UK BBC2 - would that they were as adventurous nowadays! Since then of course I've seen all of his films from Stray Dog on, Rashomon and Ran being especial favourites, but I keep on coming back to watch this one, ostensibly the simplest tale Kurosawa ever filmed.

The understanding and bonding that develops between the two men Arseniev and Dersu is wonderful to see, and over two hours holds your attention with expertly observed minutiae of character and scenic interplay. The last ten minutes cover a lot of ground (no pun intended) but it's all so logical and sad that I always need to see the end credits to recover.

So many marvellous scenes: the tiger in the forest in the morning; the phlegmatic reclusive old Chinaman; the raft; wispy blue shaded smoke from night-fires; the conclusion of course; the view of those two great men, the Moon and the Sun in the same shot. Not everyone would like Dersu, their most likely comments being "boring" - but how wrong they are they'll never know!

A film not fit to lick Dersu Uzala's metaphorical boots (or even Plan 9 from Outer Space's for that matter), Blazing Saddles was filmed the same year in America and a generation on still gets more praise than this poetic masterpiece!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Mosfilm [Russia]

Country:

Soviet Union | Japan

Language:

Russian | Chinese

Release Date:

20 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dersu Uzala See more »

Filming Locations:

Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,480
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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