One of the main attractions of collecting old movies is to find forgotten gems where your favorite actors or directors worked on. In the case of Toho, I am especially a fan of the works of directors Kihachi Okamoto, Ishiro Honda and Senkichi Taniguchi, to cite a few. One actor who worked for all three was Toshiro Mifune, whose acting career spanned 48 years, from Snow Trail (1947) to Deep River (1995).
A young new recruit of Toho’s New Faces contest, his incomparable look and animosity quickly helped him build a reputation, which led to international recognition that is still vivid today. Born on April 1st of 1920, he would have turned 100 this year.
An anniversary worth celebrating; for instance, Nihon Eiga Broadcasting Corp. held an exclusive broadcast of newly-restored copies of two rarely-seen movies starring the seventh samurai. One was Senkichi Taniguchi’s A Man in the Storm (1957) and the second was Animas Trujano (1961), a drama directed by the acclaimed Mexican director Ismael Rodriguez . The later was the first venture of Toshiro Mifune into international cinema.
Our Toshiro Mifune 100th Anniversary Tribute
For this Toshiro Mifune 100th anniversary tribute, the idea of producing a retrospective/homage video quickly came into my mind. But I wanted to do something different from the usual tributes. ”An almost half-century acting career should be shown through the evolution of his roles”, I said to myself. My decision was final. Assembling every movie I was able to get my hands on, I would present Mifune’s numerous roles in a series of clips, in chronological order, highlighted by some of my favorite musical tracks from his movies. In total, I gathered 131 different features.
The video contains dozens of Toho movies, many of which have never been released on home video. I hope you will enjoy it.
Happy birthday, Mr. Mifune !