The Silent Duel


Scarred by cuts demanded by the prudish US Occupation censorship, this early Kurosawa outing plays more like a dramatised thesis than a story in its own right. In only the second of his 17 films with the Japanese director, Toshiro Mifune plays an idealistic young doctor who contracts syphilis while operating on an infected patient. Too ashamed to tell his father (Kurosawa’s other favourite actor, Takashi Shimura) or his puzzled fiancée, he buries himself in his work. Then he meets the man who infected him, now the father of a deformed child… After the sweaty tension of the opening scenes – set in a wartime army field hospital – dramatic interest gradually ebbs away. Together, Kurosawa and Mifune had done better before (Stray Dog) and would do infinitely better in the future: this one’s really just for the completists.

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: October 22nd 2007

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