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Akira Kurosawa's The Quiet Duel (1949)

Toshir˘ Mifune , Takashi Shimura , Akira Kurosawa  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Price: $65.50 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Toshir˘ Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Miki Sanj˘, Kenjiro Uemura, Chieko Nakakita
  • Directors: Akira Kurosawa
  • Writers: Akira Kurosawa, Kazuo Kikuta, Senkichi Taniguchi
  • Producers: Hisao Ichikawa, S˘jir˘ Motoki
  • Format: Black & White, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Bci / Eclipse
  • DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,338 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Akira Kurosawa's The Quiet Duel" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with cinematographer Setsuo Kobayashi, actress Miki Sanjo, and composer Akira Ifukube
  • New report from the set of the movie
  • Trailer
  • Liner notes by Stuart Galbraith IV

Editorial Reviews

Based on a play by Kazuo Kikuta this early Akira Kurosawa film concerns an army surgeon (Mifune) who during a life-saving operation contaminates himself with syphilis which at the time was virtually incurable. Now suffering with the dreaded disease he needs to find the faith to return to his work helping save people's lives including the man from whom he contracted the disease. Starring Toshiro Mifune in his second of many film collaborations with Akira Kurosawa.System Requirements:Running Time: 95 MinutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: MISCELLANEOUS/OTHER Rating: NR UPC: 787364718795

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BCI Does It Again January 3, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
BCI are quickly becoming one of the best sources for offbeat Japanese films. THE QUIET DUEL was the only film directed by Akira Kurosawa with music by Akira Ifukube (Godzilla). Until this DVD release, it was also the only Kurosawa title that I did not have in some form, and I'm pleased to report that, while not in the league of IKIRU or SEVEN SAMURAI, THE QUIET DUEL is still well worth seeing, and a must for all devotees of the great Toshiro Mifune. He is fine in this early role as a medical doctor who makes a tragic error. Also on hand is Kurosawa regular Takashi Shimura, who was so memorable in IKIRU. Altough this film is far from the director's best, even lesser Kurosawa is eminently recommendable, and the many fans of Maestro Ifukube will certainly want to check this out. The picture quality is fine, no problems with the disc, packaging is outstanding and the price is about half of what Criterion would ask...Thank you, BCI!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed Early Kurosawa as Film School January 18, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Quiet Duel has many of the Kurosawan hallmarks: conflicted characters, a character that learns and changes and grows (in this case, it is the female nurse who grows most dramatically)and our favorites: Takeshi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune!

Flawed, sure. And, my respects to the composer, but the "mutual multiplier effect" (Kurosawa's term for it) of the extra-diagetic with the, unfortunately, maybe not working at top form, here. In fact, there is one strangley intrusive music box that nearly spoils the scene of confrontation and confession between Shimura and Mifune. I cannot fault the composer, who confessed that he did not get along as well with Kurosawa as some others. I do not doubt the man's integrity or sesitivity. I do think film is a collaborative process.

Still, one learns so much from an early film. I see the kernal of an idea for Red Beard in much of this film. And, despite any criticism, Red Beard is a profoundly moving piece of cinema. It is instructive to view The Quiet Duel, then Red Beard to see the master's growth. If you are a Kurofan, this DVD will be a welcome addition to your knowledge and collection of the master's work!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Delicate dilemna August 9, 2008
I begin with a disclaimer; I'm sure I would never have heard of, let alone seen, "The Quiet Duel" if it hadn't been an early Akira Kurosawa movie. This movie would very likely never been made available in English sub-titles nor probably been on any late-night Japanese TV station. However, the fame of its' director legitimately made this a movie worth seeing. Let me restate that; The skill of its' director made this a movie worth viewing 60+ years after it was made.

There is a dramatic quality in the script and acting that shows a serious director was in charge of this film. The subject matter was risque for its' time and place. That required a fair degree of discretion and subtlety which Kurosawa provided. Rather than the old "I got it from a toilet seat" routine, we see the events leading up to the syphylis infection of a Japanese combat doctor in 1944. Its' innocence is essetial to the plot. This is a morality tale of innocence unable to defend itself. The characters are all very real and display a variety of morals and perspectives. The hero of our story is a difficult one to empathise with. His steadfast adherance to his self-denial effects many around him. There are many issues that arise and we are left having to accept that not all of life's problems result in happy endings. However, we still get to view a somewhat silver lining.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doctor vs. Disease; Hero vs. Himself June 11, 2008
I have often heard of "The Quiet Duel" as one of the lesser of Kurosawa's films, that there was something about it that just didn't quite work. Surely, it is not of the same caliber as Seven Samurai or Ikiru, but after seeing it, and finding out what an excellent film it is, I think its reputation is undeserved.

This is Kurosawa's ninth film as full director, and his second collaboration with the power combo of Shimura Takeshi and Mifune Toshiro. It tells the story of a doctor, brilliant and willful, who is infected with syphilis while saving a patients life on the battlefield. At this time in history, syphilis cures were chancy at best, often hurting the patient more than if they had just been left alone. It was basically the death sentence that AIDs is today, carrying the same stigmatism. The doctor knows he has a death sentence, and must distance himself from his girlfriend or all meaningful human contact, in order not to infect someone else with the dread disease.

"The Quiet Duel" revisits some of the themes from his previous work, Drunken Angel. However, whereas "Drunken Angel" had the doctor as a flawed character, "The Quiet Duel" presents him as a tower of heroic strength; almost able to withstand without regret the cruel fate he has been inflicted with. In an impulsive moment, to save a man's life, he loses everything of meaning and must endure what his life has become as a result.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
The film's black and white morality play, set in an almost junior high school venereal disease film setting, inspires some unexpected laughs, such as when a boy, suffering from an... Read more
Published on June 7, 2012 by Cosmoetica
2.0 out of 5 stars How not to make a message film
This is the first Kurosawa-Mifune film that I found really difficult to sit thru. In look and style, it felt like a melodramatic silent film. I wish it were silent. Read more
Published on March 8, 2011 by J. A. Eyon
5.0 out of 5 stars Its 1949 vintage belies thoroughly modern film making
Modern themes and the clear presentation of moral complexity make this film a classic.

Kurosawa's screenplay derives from a play by Kazuo Kikuta.
Published on October 26, 2009 by New Zealander
3.0 out of 5 stars A very exciting beginning leads to...
...nothing in particular. Or rather, one emotion played out over and over ad boredom. That first scene is definitely worth the $2 or so that this DVD costs, at least if you're a... Read more
Published on September 26, 2009 by Eiga Kantoku
1.0 out of 5 stars Ther Quiet Duel
This was one of the dullest kirosawa movies EVER. Even with Mifune
it was poor !! It made no sense at All.!!
Published on April 18, 2009 by David Bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Mifune Shines In The Quiet Duel
"The Quiet Duel" has sometimes been called one of Kurosawa's less effective films, and yet most directors would have been proud to claim it. Read more
Published on March 3, 2009 by MS
5.0 out of 5 stars What would you do in case you were him?
The front of war is in plain development in 1944. A doctor is trying to save the life of a seriously wounded man, but what he ignores is that man is infected of syphilis. Read more
Published on January 10, 2008 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Mifune!
If you are a fan of Toshiro Mifune, you will appreciate the dynamic performance he delivers in this film which was made early in his career. Read more
Published on June 10, 2007 by Sharon Shurley
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