Hiroshi Inagaki

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto

In the first part of the epic Samurai Trilogy, Toshiro Mifune thunders onto the screen as the iconic title character. When we meet him, Miyamoto is a wide-eyed romantic, dreaming of military glory in the civil war that is ravaging the seventeenth-century countryside. Twists of fate, however, turn him into a fugitive. But he is saved by a woman who loves him and a cunning priest who guides him to the samurai path. Though the opening installment of a series, this film, lushly photographed in color, stands on its own, and won an Academy Award for the best foreign-language film of 1955.

Film Info

Available In

Collector's Set

The Samurai Trilogy

The Samurai Trilogy

Blu-Ray Box Set

2 Discs

$55.96

Collector's Set

The Samurai Trilogy

The Samurai Trilogy

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$47.96

Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto
Cast
Toshiro Mifune
Takezo/Musashi Miyamoto
Rentaro Mikuni
Honiden Matahachi
Kuroemon Onoe
Takuan
Kaoru Yachigusa
Otsu
Mariko Okada
Akemi
Mitsuko Mito
Oko
Eiko Miyoshi
Osugi
Akihiko Hirata
Seijuro Yoshioka
Kusuo Abe
Temma Tsujikaze
Credits
Director
Hiroshi Inagaki
Producer
Kazuo Takimura
Screenplay
Tokuhei Wakao
Screenplay
Hiroshi Inagaki
From Hideji Hojo’s adaptation of Musashi, by
Eiji Yoshikawa
Cinematography
Jun Yasumoto
Art direction
Kisaku Ito
Art direction
Makoto Sono
Lighting
Shigeru Mori
Sound
Choshichiro Mikami
Music
Ikuma Dan

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Explore

Toshiro Mifune

Actor

Akira Kurosawa once said, “The ordinary Japanese actor might need ten feet of film to get across an impression. Toshiro Mifune needed only three feet.” The filmmaker certainly gave Mifune a lot of space, however: over the course of sixteen collaborations, the actor and the director created some of the most dynamic characters ever put on-screen, all marked by an intense physicality and a surprising tenderness. Kurosawa first took note of the handsome actor when Mifune was twenty-seven, during an open audition at Toho Studios; he was soon cast in Snow Trail (1947), a film Kurosawa wrote for director Senkichi Taniguchi. Just one year later, Kurosawa gave him the lead in Drunken Angel as a consumptive gangster. Mifune proceeded to inhabit a variety of deeply felt roles for Kurosawa, including an artist hounded by paparazzi (Scandal); a bandit who may or not be a rapist and murderer (Rashomon); a loose cannon ronin who reluctantly protects a village (Seven Samurai); an elderly patriarch terrified of a second nuclear attack (I Live in Fear); and, probably most iconically, the wily, shiftless samurai Yojimbo. Mifune is known for more than his work with Kurosawa; see him in Hiroshi Inagaki’s Oscar-winning Samurai Trilogy and Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion. But it is Kurosawa’s greatest films that are most unimaginable without Mifune’s bravado streaking across them like lightning. The pair parted ways professionally in 1965.