Great Performances (1971– )
7 user 4 critic


TV-G | | Music | Episode aired 21 March 2002




Episode credited cast:
Akira Kurosawa ... Self (archive footage)
Sam Shepard ... Narrator (voice)
Paul Scofield ... Kurosawa (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Coburn ... Self
Clint Eastwood ... Self
Shinobu Hashimoto Shinobu Hashimoto ... Self
Hiromichi Horikawa Hiromichi Horikawa ... Self
Kon Ichikawa ... Self
Shuichi Kato Shuichi Kato ... Self
Masahiko Kumada Masahiko Kumada ... Self
Hisao Kurosawa Hisao Kurosawa ... Self
Kazuko Kurosawa Kazuko Kurosawa ... Self
Machiko Kyô ... Self
George Lucas ... Self (archive footage)
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Self


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Did You Know?


Steven Spielberg: This year the Academy's Board of Governors have voted an Honorary Academy Award to a man who many of us believe is our greatest living filmmaker, and all of us know if one of the few true visionaries ever to work in our medium.
Narrator: In 1990, at the age of eighty the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa was given an honorary Oscar at the Academy Awards in Hollywood.
Akira Kurosawa: [in Japanese] I am deeply honoured to receive such a prestigious award. Thank you.
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User Reviews

too short to really dig deeper than the books, aside from a good 'surface' examination
12 August 2006 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

This is a documentary I've seen a few times, as it is fairly well produced and edited together covering the broad scope of the career (and some parts of the life) of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. The opening images seem pretty neat, with the Tokyo huge-screen in the city plays the infamous arrow climax from Throne of Blood. But it's mostly just an all-too-short pastiche of interviews and some narration that wavers from being informative or kind of unnecessary, depending on whether it's reading from quotes (this is the part that is the latter). It's probably worth noting that the DVD might hold more interest for those who saw the documentary and felt cheated; there's a trove of interview clips that probably out-time the actually running length of the documentary here. Some of the interviews do come into some good use, like from Kurosawa's own family and from those who are still around to kick some small anecdotes or notes of praise. Even Clint Eastood and James Coburn give their dues for some of the pivotal inspirations for their own careers. It's a fitting TV documentary that puts the important bits from Kurosawa's autobiography up-front (i.e. the earthquake in the 20s, the suicide attempt, pretty much all the major works noted to greater or lesser degrees depending on their notoriety). That it isn't the ultimate testament to the director is a letdown, as the more informative, enlightening looks at his work and life can be seen in Stuart Galbraith and Donald Richies books.

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UK | Japan | USA



Release Date:

21 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kurosawa: A Documentary See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Arena, KQED, NHK See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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