Tag Archives: Toshiro Mifune

The Set of 400: #294 – My Favorite Rolling Ferris Wheel

Today! Because I fought your kind in the Great War, and we kicked the living shit out of you –

1941 (1979)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd (x3), Ned Beatty (x2), Christopher Lee (x4), Tim Matheson, Toshiro Mifune (x2), John Candy (x4), Nancy Allen, Lorraine Gary (x2), Warren Oates, Slim Pickens, Robert Stack, Treat Williams, Murray Hamilton (x3), Elisha Cook Jr., Patti LuPone, Eddie Deezen, Perry Lang, Wendie Jo Sperber, Joe Flaherty, David L. Lander, Michael McKean (x3), Don Calfa, Susan Backlinie, Jerry Hardin, Audrey Landers, Dick Miller (x3), Mickey Rourke

For those of you unfamiliar with this movie – can you believe the above cast got together in ’79 and put on an epic war comedy? And under the direction of the king, Steven Spielberg, following his massive success with Jaws and Close Encounters? Doesn’t it make you want to run out and see what this movie could possibly be?? How have you avoided it all these years? Do it!

And for those of you already familiar with this movie, SHUT UP.

I’m not Titanic-level defensive about 1941, but that’s because most people either didn’t see it or don’t remember it enough to argue about it. And look, I know there is a lot wrong with this movie. It only sort of functions as a comedy – it’s like a less funny It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with explosions and extended choreographed fistfights – and sort of functions as a war movie. But the premise is solid enough and the cast is terrific that, even though it doesn’t totally deliver, it’s still a pretty entertaining movie. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #394 – My Favorite Sword-Wielding Goofball

Today! Because the enemy isn’t a bunch of sparrows and crows –

Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai) (1954)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Starring Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki, Yoshio Inaba, Daisuke Kato, Seiji Miyaguchi, Minoru Chiaki, Isao Kimura, Yoshio Tsuchiya

This one is a major outlier on the entire list. Not to spoil the forthcoming year(s), but don’t expect a ton of foreign films down the road, and really don’t anticipate this kicking off a deluge of samurai films. I mean, I love me some shitty kung fu movies, the ones you find in dollar bins at the Steamtown Malls of the world (Shoutout, downtown Scranton, PA!), but you won’t see them crop up in the limited space of my favorite movies ever made. Sorry, Catman in Lethal Track!

But don’t sleep on this movie, if you like unmitigated garbage

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