For any real film buff, the name Toshiro Mifune is one of legend and he starred in some of the greatest films in the world for one of film’s greatest directors. Longtime documentary filmmaker Steven Okazaki tells the iconic actor’s story with the help of those who knew him and others who knew of him, like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, in “Mifune: The Last Samurai.”
I, like most film lovers, am quite familiar with the great Toshiro Mifune and his many brilliant performances. His most familiar works are the 16-film collaboration between the actor and legendary director Akira Kurosawa, with “Rashomon,” “The Seven Samurai,” “The Hidden Fortress,” “Throne of Blood” and “Yojimbo,” to name just a few of their works together. But, he appeared is nearly 170 films, beginning in 1947 with “Snow Trail” to his last, “Deep River (1995).
Steven Okazaki assembles a treasure trove of Mifune’s archive of films and interviews with the family, friends and colleagues of the actor, as well as the abovementioned American luminaries. They discuss the actor’s skill and greatness, as well as the flaws and foibles that helped form the legend. I do not see an audience much beyond people like me, but people like me will love “Mifune: The Last Samurai.” I give it a B (and a quarter, if I could).
Laura was hoping for something more in depth. C+.
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