Stray Dog

Kurosawa’s neorealist, post-war tale of urban malaise follows homicide detective Murakami (Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune) during a sweltering heat wave in which he has his gun stolen on a crowded bus. Riddled with shame and guilt, Murakami sets out on an odyssey to recover the weapon, encountering a wide array of unique individuals as he journeys through the bombed-out depths of a nearly unrecognizable Tokyo. Kurosawa, just a year before his masterpiece Rashomon, provides an acute study of the pathos that arises when one’s back is against the wall in all possible ways. “It’s in its suggestion, through a multiplicity of rhythms, textures, and moods, of the range of human possibilities and of multiple worlds that ignore each other, that Stray Dog is most fervent and haunting.”—Chris Fujiwara.

Genres: Crime, Drama

Other Films by Akira Kurosawa

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Throne of Blood

One of the most enduring cinematic “twists on Shakespeare” is Akira Kurosawa’s take on Macbeth, which relocates the play to 15th century feudal Japan. Two warriors returning from battle encounter an eerie spirit in the forest who promises them great fortune upon their return. Spurred on by the spirit’s prophecy—and the power-hungry manipulations of his

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Ran

One of the late masterpieces of Japanese master Kurosawa’s long and distinguished career, Ran was inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear and the legend of daimyo (lord) Mori Motonari. Tatsuya Nakadai plays Hidetora Ichimonji, an aging warrior-lord who decides to abdicate in favor of his three sons, Taro, Jiro, and Saburo. His youngest son Saburo declares