Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sanshiro Sugata

Today is the first full day of the Kurosawa blogathon at filmsquish. There has already been one post, and I'm looking forward to reading what others have to say about this director. I have just recently started paying attention to directors, so this is all new to me.

After yesterday's look at Rashomon, I decided to see what other Kurosawa films might be in the public domain and available online.

Sanshiro Sugata (1943) was Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's first film. The version embedded below is from Internet Archive and has no English subtitles, though there is a separate subtitle text file at the site and a different translation altogether here. This makes it much more difficult for me to get into the film as much as if I had on-screen translation. Once I realized what I was up against I researched the plot and looked through the written translations of the dialog. There are long sections with no dialog and that helped. This movie has been removed from GoogleVideo, and I've been unable to find the film online except for the Internet Archive site. The wikipedia article linked above reports the Japanese decision to place this movie in the public domain, so I'm not sure why there is a problem with access. Maybe the subtitles are the copyright issue?

[this film is no longer available at internet archive]

edit 7/17/2018: I still can't find this online, but here's a trailer without subtitles:

The movie is listed at the PBS Great Performances site as an "essential film". Ferdy on Films focuses on the place of the film as Kurosawa's solo directorial debut.

Note to The Husband: I've found something you'll hate more than a foreign-language film with subtitles -a foreign-language film without subtitles!


  1. one of my favourite movie. i remember when i was kid, my aunt told me about the movie, and i was so mesmerised by the story, that i was yearning to watch it. eventually years later it was broad casted on national tv.

  2. I still haven't seen with with subtitles, which I definitely think would enhance my appreciation.