• 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.