Akira Kurosawa

The Most Beautiful

The Most Beautiful

This portrait of female volunteer workers at an optics plant during World War II, shot on location at the Nippon Kogaku factory, was created with a patriotic agenda. Yet thanks to Akira Kurosawa’s groundbreaking semidocumentary approach, The Most Beautiful is a revealing look at Japanese women of the era and anticipates the aesthetics of Japanese cinema’s postwar social realism.

Film Info

  • Japan
  • 1944
  • 85 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa

The First Films of Akira Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

4 Discs


Collector's Set

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

AK 100: 25 Films by Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

25 Discs


Out Of Print
The Most Beautiful
Takashi Shimura
Chief Goro Ishida
Soji Kiyokawa
Soichi Yoshikawa
Ichiro Sugai
Ken Sanada
Takako Irie
Noriko Mizushima
Sayuri Tanima
Yuriko Tanimura
Sachiko Ozaki
Sachiko Yamazaki
Asako Suzuki
Asako Suzumura
Haruko Toyama
Masako Koyama
Yôko Yaguchi
Tsuru Watanabe
Akira Kurosawa
Jin Usami
Motohiko Ito
Akira Kurosawa
Joji Obara
Seiichi Suzuki


Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa
Eclipse Series 23: The First Films of Akira Kurosawa
Sanshiro Sugata: A Career Blooms Moviegoers the world over know Akira Kurosawa for Rashomon (1950) and the international classics that followed—Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, High and Low. The filmmaker’s dazzling technique made …

By Stephen Prince


Akira Kurosawa

Writer, Director

Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa

Arguably the most celebrated Japanese filmmaker of all time, Akira Kurosawa had a career that spanned from the Second World War to the early nineties and that stands as a monument of artistic, entertainment, and personal achievement. His best-known films remain his samurai epics Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, but his intimate dramas, such as Ikiru and High and Low, are just as searing. The first serious phase of Kurosawa’s career came during the postwar era, with Drunken Angel and Stray Dog, gritty dramas about people on the margins of society that featured the first notable appearances by Toshiro Mifune, the director’s longtime leading man. Kurosawa would subsequently gain international fame with Rashomon, a breakthrough in nonlinear narrative and sumptuous visuals. Following a personal breakdown in the late sixties, Kurosawa rebounded by expanding his dark brand of humanism into new stylistic territory, with films such as Kagemusha and Ran, visionary, color, epic ruminations on modern man and nature.