8.3/10
20,456
74 user 40 critic
Trailer
2:28 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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 »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Dodes'ka-den (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Various tales in the lives of Tokyo slum dwellers, including a mentally deficient young man obsessed with driving his own commuter trolley.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Yoshitaka Zushi, Kin Sugai, Toshiyuki Tonomura
Maadadayo (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuo Matsumura, Hisashi Igawa, George Tokoro
Kagemusha (1980)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara
Red Beard (1965)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In 19th century Japan, a rough tempered yet charitable town doctor trains a young intern.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yûzô Kayama, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three generations' responses to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Sachiko Murase, Richard Gere, Hisashi Igawa
Dreams (1990)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A collection of tales based upon the actual dreams of director Akira Kurosawa.

Directors: Akira Kurosawa, Ishirô Honda
Stars: Akira Terao, Mitsuko Baishô, Toshie Negishi
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A vengeful young man marries the daughter of a corrupt industrialist in order to seek justice for his father's suicide.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Kyôko Kagawa
Dersu Uzala (1961)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of a russian explorer (Vladimir Arsenev) in the wilderness of Siberia and Dersu Uzala, a native guide on his trip.

Director: Agasi Babayan
Stars: Adolf Shestakov, Kasym Zhakibayev, Aleksandr Baranov
High and Low (1963)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In a Japanese slum, various residents play out their lives, dreaming of better things or settling for their lot. Among them is a man who pines for a young woman but is stymied by her deceptive family.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Kyôko Kagawa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An aging Japanese industrialist becomes so fearful of nuclear war that it begins to take a toll on his life and family.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yuriy Solomin ... Arsenev
Maksim Munzuk ... Dersu Uzala
Mikhail Bychkov Mikhail Bychkov ... Otryad Arseneva (as M. Bychkov)
Vladimir Khrulev Vladimir Khrulev ... Otryad Arseneva (as V. Khrulev)
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)
V. Khlestov V. Khlestov ... Otryad Arseneva
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)
Edit

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...


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Sovcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Production lasted 3 years. See more »

Goofs

In the photo where Dersu is holding a balalaika, his left hand is holding the neck of the instrument from the top, rather than from the bottom as a musician would hold it. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Castle: The Way of the Ninja (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a tribute to the endurance of man and nature, featuring a masterpiece of a performance
20 February 2005 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

For a variety of reasons (that are well known in the darker period of the director's history at this time), Akira Kurosawa left Japan to make a film in Russia (Siberia to be exact). Instead of an epic action picture, he went to one of his other passions as a storyteller- the drama of pure humanity (like Ikiru and Red Beard, this film follows in that vein). The film runs two hours and twenty minutes, but it is a kind of epic story, that does have that pulse of adventure from his other films. But this time he combines that method of a big, spacious environment in the wild with a deep character study. His craftsmanship as a 'painter' of the frame is top-notch as always (all pretensions aside, he is one of the masters at finding the textures and moods in a scene's look as in its character and action), and the use of locations brings a quality that directors today would brush aside with via special and visual effects. Simply put, it is one of, if not the, ultimate testaments to man vs/with nature, with a character that remains one of the most memorable that Kurosawa's envisioned.

To give an idea of who Dersu Uzala is to someone who hasn't seen the film, picture Yoda without the ability to lift objects with his mind and to kick ass with a light-saber, but still contains all of the direct wisdom and strength that make him one with his surroundings (and, as well, uses his own kind of 'force' for knowledge and defense, and for attack as an ultimately final resort). As a lonesome hunter and drifter with a family tragically lost, Dersu comes upon a team of explorers led by Captain Aseniev (Yuri Solomon, not the best performance but sturdy enough to sustain the physical scenes). He goes along with them as a guide of the sights and smells and feelings that the others just can't sense (out of lack of experience). Aseniev and Dersu end up becoming friends as they brace a torrid windstorm over a bare, wintry landscape, as Kurosawa brings out one of his towering sequences (topping anything David Lean could've drummed up for sure).

It's always of interest to me to see characters doing things on screen, having to go against the elements that almost dwarf them in the face of nature (i.e. Cast Away's hour and a half second act). Dersu Uzala seems to be of few words and mostly actions, and soon gains respect and admiration after an odd introduction to the team- he shoots with a keener than keen eye, he spots tracks, he sets up protection in the harshest of conditions, and is always a step ahead of the pack. And bringing all this out is actor Maksim Munzuk, who appears here (like Falconetti in Passion of Joan of Arc) in the performance of a lifetime out of an otherwise obscure and small career. Munzuk never brings anything to Dersu that isn't in his character, and he makes at least a quarter of the film's success a reality (the other three-quarters could be attributed to Kurosawa alone). He can be tough, smart, funny (in an off-beat way), and if nothing else, humble. But more than anything, Munzuk makes Dersu seem alive in a way no other actor could've accomplished, and also brings out the better in Solomon's performance.

The story itself has a superb appeal most of the way, but it is in it's last act that 'Derzu Uzala' reaches an intensely tragic plane. Dersu does something (which I won't reveal here and has been discussed elsewhere on the message board) that brings great shame to his own self-worth. In this part of the film, Kurosawa brings out what can be said to be some of the saddest moments in any of his work, however not without logic. While it was likely a major dramatic function in the novel, Kurosawa doesn't just throw these last twenty minutes or so to let steam flow out of the picture. I sensed something almost cathartic about these scenes, that rose the qualities of the rest of the story to a higher level, to one of almost spiritual in nature. It's hard to really pin-point to one who has not seen the film (and, indeed, I have seen the film all of one time). But once its over, you may feel you have seen a work far more rewarding than imaginable- even in awe.


46 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 74 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed