• 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.

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3 comments

  • By Figster
    September 28, 2013
    09:15 PM

    I wish I have access to Hulu. So want to see Wedding Ring and Vendetta of Samurai. Sigh.
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  • By Grethiwha
    October 04, 2013
    02:29 PM

    Snow Trail was awesome! An entertaining story, great performances by Shimura and Mifune in his first role, and some stunning location cinematography. And it was written by Kurosawa apparently – and a finer film than any he had directed up to that point, I would say. A real treat for Mifune/Kurosawa fans, and classic Japanese film fans in general... Thanks!
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    • By Grethiwha
      October 04, 2013
      02:33 PM

      P.S. Inagaki's "Muhomatsu, the Rickshaw Man" – arguably Mifune's best performance – ought to have been featured... Actually, y'know what? Straight to blu-ray with that one! :)

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