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Red Beard [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1965]

Release Date:07/16/2002
Finally available on DVD is Akira Kurosawa's Red Beard as part of the elite Criterion Collection. Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen in black-and-white, the image quality on Red Beard is excellent. Aside of a small amount of grain and dirt in a few scenes, this picture features solid black, gray, and white levels. Overall, Criterion has done a fantastic job of making sure this reproduction looks great. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround in Japanese and is also top-notch. While directional effects are generally kept to a minimum, overall the soundtrack is free and clear of most all hiss and distortion. Also included on this disc are English subtitles. The extra features on Red Beard are small but substantial. A commentary track by director by Kurosawa and film scholar Stephen Prince provide a wealth of information on the making of the film and what it took to bring it to the screen. Also included on this disc is a non-anamorphic widescreen theatrical trailer for the film.

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    Special Features

    • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound and enhanced for widescreen televisions
    • Audio commentary by Kurosawa film scholar Stephen Prince
    • Notes by Japanese-film historian Donald Richie
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition


    Red Beard
    In 1820, young Noboru Yasumoto (Yuzo Kayama) completes his medical education in Nagasaki and returns to his native Edo hoping both to marry the daughter of a wealthy man and to achieve affluence himself through his medical practice. He happens to visit the famed Koishikawa clinic for the indigent, which is run by the autocratic Dr. Kyojo Niide (Toshiro Mifune), better known as Red Beard. To his intense displeasure, he soon finds himself assigned to the clinic for his internship. At first, the young intern is arrogant and rebellious, intent on displaying his knowledge of medical innovations and contemptuous of the older doctor for spending his life among the poor. But as time passes, he gains an intimate knowledge of the kind of suffering that is endemic to the impoverished, and at length, becomes an acolyte of this seemingly dictatorial physician, who heals his patients with gentleness and humility as much as with his medical skill. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Toshiro Mifune
      Toshiro Mifune - Kyojio Niide (Akahige)
    • Yuzo Kayama
      Yuzo Kayama - Dr. Noboru Yasumoto
    • Tsutomu Yamazaki
      Tsutomu Yamazaki - Sahachi
    • Kyoko Kagawa
      Kyoko Kagawa - Mad Woman
    • Image coming soon
      Miyuki Kuwano - Onaka

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.