The Men Who Tread On The Tiger’s Tail (1945)

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A fugitive lord and his bodyguards pose as a troupe of monks in an attempt to traverse a hostile border outpost.

This is really a short rather than a full-blown film as it does not really have a conventional plot and weighs in at just under an hour. It’s more an exercise in style and mood and you can see Kurosawa developing his trademark themes and techniques. It stars long term collaborator Takashi Shimura, has a similar concept to Hidden Fortress and features seven warriors, all of which will be familiar to those who know his work. There are many musical interludes and an obviously studio bound set that gives it a very traditional and theatrical feel and once again there is some lovely shot composition, but really it’s only one for Kurosawa completists because of it’s lack of a fully developed plot line.

Interesting stuff though.

6/10

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