• The dynamic, handsome, and versatile movie star Tatsuya Nakadai was a stage-trained performer who got his start on-screen during Japan’s 1950s cinematic golden age. He has continued to work since then, and now, at age eighty-one, has appeared in nearly 150 movies. In this week’s festival of free films on Hulu, Nakadai, we pay tribute to this incredible actor with a selection of films from the fifties, sixties, and seventies.

    A good place to start is Masaki Kobayashi’s Black River, which features Nakadai in his breakthrough role as a yakuza wannabe. And be sure to get immersed in Kobayashi’s mammoth war epic The Human Condition (parts 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6), which gave Nakadai probably his most emotional, rangy role. And there's so much more: Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and High and Low; Kobayashi’s Harakiri and The Inheritance; Hiroshi Teshigahara’s The Face of Another; and Hideo Gosha’s action film Bandits vs. Samurai Squadron.

    Also on offer is the rarely screened 1970 Masahiro Shinoda film The Scandalous Adventures of Buraikan. In this stylish, colorful, comedy-tinged jidai-geki, Nakadai plays a fortune-teller who dreams of becoming an actor and lives under the thumb of a domineering mother. Watch the film, unavailable on disc in the U.S., below or at Hulu. And remember, 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.

6 comments

  • By Grethiwha
    May 30, 2014
    07:19 PM

    This is really unfair. My first week working on a boat, with limited internet access, and this is when you choose to make my favourite actor the pick of the week theme! I so want to watch the Shinoda and Gosha films.
    Reply
  • By Sam Easton
    June 01, 2014
    03:10 AM

    My favorite Japanese actor! I remember first seeing Tatsuya Nakadai in Sword of Doom as a budding teen, and swooned by him instantly (regardless of being a blood fury man). He could read the phone book, and I'd still be captivated. I look forward to Tatsuya's movies on Hulu.
    Reply
  • By TheDirector
    June 01, 2014
    07:12 PM

    Wow. It'd be nice to watch the Human Condition, but I don't know if I could watch a 9 hour film with 2 hours of commercials.
    Reply
    • By Oscar
      June 02, 2014
      03:49 PM

      Only tv shows that are on cable have commercials. Hulu's criterion films do not.
  • By Batzomon
    June 02, 2014
    09:20 AM

    One of the best and one of my favorites. Not many actors can carry a nine-hour film, but Nakadai did and at such a young age. Let's hope we see more of his films on Criterion's Hulu soon.
    Reply
  • By Faith
    June 02, 2014
    11:43 PM

    This is so great! I just met the wonderful Nakadai-san at the Museum of Moving Images (in Astoria, Queens), where they screened "The Face of Another". Afterwards, he was interviewed by a film critic and then was gracious enough to pose for some photos with his fans while he waited for his car to take him back to NYC. So in addition to what we already knew, that he is a fabulous actor, add that he is a lovely man and incredibly young and handsome looking at age 81. I can't wait to see even more of his films. (Wow, it would be great to see him on stage, too).
    Reply