We celebrate perhaps the greatest, most internationally known icon the Japanese cinema ever produced in this week’s festival of free films on Hulu, The Best of Toshiro Mifune. Sometimes glamorous and dashing, sometimes feverish and animalistic, Mifune invested each of his roles with an astonishing passion. Of course, he’s best known for his work with Akira Kurosawa, and plenty of films in this selection reflect their amazing collaboration: High and Low, I Live in Fear, Sanjuro, Scandal, Stray Dog, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo.
But there are also three films here by other directors: Hiroshi Inagaki’s Oscar-winning Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion, and Mifune’s rarely seen first film, Snow Trail, directed by Senkichi Taniguchi. In this 1947 drama, the actor plays a bank robber who escapes into the mountains with two accomplices and meets a kind family. Unavailable on home video, the film streams in its entirety below or at Hulu. And remember that if you sign up for Hulu Plus for just $7.99 a month, you can see these and hundreds of other Criterion films commercial-free, anytime.