Akira Kurosawa

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On the set of Ran in 1985

Akira Kurosawa (Kyūjitai: 黒澤 明, Shinjitai: 黒沢 明, Kurosawa Akira, 23 March 1910—6 September 1998) was a prominent Japanese film director, producer, and screenwriter. His first credited film (Sugata Sanshiro) was released in 1943; his last (Madadayo) in 1993.

His film Ran is said to have been based on William Shakespeare play King Lear, although Kurosawa himself said that he only became aware of the similarities after planning for the film had started. Throne of Blood was based on Macbeth. Hidden Fortress was later credited by George Lucas as being the inspiration for his first Star Wars film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Additionally, several of his films were later remade as 'Spaghetti Westerns'. Also, Seven Samurai was later filmed as The Magnificent Seven, whilst Yojimbo became the inspiration for A Fistful of Dollars.



  • Stray Dog (1949)
  • Rashomon (1950)
  • Ikiru (1952)
  • Seven Samurai (1954)
  • Throne of Blood (1957)
  • Hidden Fortress (1958)
  • The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
  • Yojimbo (1961)
  • Sanjuro (1962)
  • High and Low (1963)
  • Red Beard (1965)
  • Kagemusha (1980)
  • Ran (1985)
  • Rhapsody in August (1991)