"The speed of his movements was such that he said in a single action what took ordinary actors three separate movements to express. He put forth everything directly and boldly, and his sense of timing was the keenest I had ever seen in a Japanese actor. And yet with all of his quickness he also had surprisingly fine sensibilities. […] I’m a person who is rarely impressed by actors, but in the case of Mifune I was completely overwhelmed." — Akira Kurosawa

"He is an artist, and he is demanding; a man more full, more whole, both more self-willed and more compassionate than most men are. It is from this understanding, this tact with life, that he draws his films, just as he draws from us, his actors, our best. I know. I have never as an actor done anything that I am proud of other than with him." — Toshiro Mifune

"Toward the end, when Mifune was in the hospital, I called one day at Kurosawa’s house. Kurosawa came into the parlor in his wheelchair. I had gotten word of Mifune’s condition, and when I reported this, Kurosawa said in a tone of nostalgia: ‘If I ever see Mifune again, I want to tell him what a good job he did. I want to praise him.’ How Mifune must have yearned to hear those words. But without his ever having had that chance, on Christmas Eve, 1997, at the age of seventy-seven, the turbulent life of Toshiro Mifune came to an end. Nine months later, on September 6, 1998, the death of the great filmmaker Akira Kurosawa was reported around the world, marking the end of an era. He was eighty-eight years old." — Teruyo Nogami

toshiro-mifune:

Toshirō Mifune →  April 1, 1920 - December 24, 1997

04 / 01 / 2013 830   originally from toshiro-mifune   via toshiro-mifune

The Hidden Fortress // dir. Akira Kurosawa

March 1, 1963 — Akira Kurosawa’s High and Low premieres in Japan.

"Let me tell you one backstage story about that ending scene. Actually I shot another scene after the confrontation between Toshiro Mifune and Tsutomu Yamazaki in the prison. We shot some long footage showing Tatsuya Nakadai and Mifune walking while thinking about Yamazaki. The two were full of unhappy feelings, despite having succeeded in their mission. To take this scene, we had made a huge set. They were about to part and they felt his shadow behind them. They couldn’t forget him. We had spent about two weeks on this scene. But I felt that the scene between Yamazaki and Mifune in the jail is really the end of the picture… At the time Yamazaki was cut off, and Mifune’s face remained reflected in the glass, I knew that I had said all I wanted to say. So I cut off all the remaining scenes, which were superfluous. My assistant art director scolded me. [Laughs]" — Akira Kurosawa

toshiro-mifune:

Toshirō Mifune → April 1, 1920 - December 24, 1997 

Toward the end, when Mifune was in the hospital, I called one day at Akira Kurosawa’s house. He came into the parlor in his wheelchair. I had gotten word of Mifune’s condition, and when I reported this, Kurosawa said in a tone of nostalgia: “If I ever see Mifune again, I want to tell him what a good job he did. I want to praise him”. How Mifune must have yearned to hear those words [having never heard praise from him face-to-face]. But without his ever having had that chance, on Christmas Eve, 1997, at the age of seventy-seven, the turbulent life of Toshirō Mifune came to an end.

— Teruyo Nogami, Kurosawa’s close assistant for nearly 35 years and close friend for nearly 50 years

12 / 24 / 2012 1334   originally from toshiro-mifune   via toshiro-mifune
Toshiro Mifune at home.

Toshiro Mifune at home.

Toshiro Mifune and Isabella Rossellini. 1984.

Toshiro Mifune and Isabella Rossellini. 1984.

Mifune had a kind of talent I had never encountered before in the Japanese film world. It was, above all, the speed with which he expressed himself that was astounding. The ordinary Japanese actor might need ten feet of film to get across an impression; Mifune needed only three feet. The speed of his movements was such that he said in a single action what took ordinary actors three separate movements to express. He put forth everything directly and boldly, and his sense of timing was the keenest I had ever seen in a Japanese actor. And yet with all his quickness he also had surprisingly fine sensibilities.

I know it sounds as if I am overpraising Mifune, but everything I am saying is true. If pressed to find a defect in him as an actor, I could say his voice is a little rough, and when it’s recorded through a microphone it has a tendency to become difficult to understand. Anyway, I’m a person who is rarely impressed by actors, but in the case of Mifune I was completely overwhelmed.

Akira Kurosawa on Toshiro Mifune (April 1, 1920 - December 24, 1997)

Toshiro MifuneFilmIcons
Red Beard // dir. Akira Kurosawa

Red Beard // dir. Akira Kurosawa

Red Beard // dir. Akira Kurosawa

Red Beard // dir. Akira Kurosawa