Akira Kurosawa Films Online: Watch His Films Free On Hulu


Legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa would have turned 103 on March 23. And don’t act like he couldn’t have done it: the world’s oldest living man and woman are both from Japan.

But unlike Kurosawa, those two centenarians didn’t get a special birthday present from Hulu. The video-streaming site posted 24 of the director’s films online for free viewing this past weekend. And yes, it was 40-plus hours of pure bliss.

For those of you who missed it, the films are still available through Hulu+, so it’s probably a good time to sign up for that free trial you’ve been considering. If you’re looking for a way to step your film history game up, look no further.

Here’s the director’s brilliant filmography, along with five highlights you definitely shouldn’t miss:

Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

The Most Beautiful (1944)

Sanshiro Sugata Part II (1945)

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945)

No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)

One Wonderful Sunday (1947)

Drunken Angel (1948)

The Quiet Duel (1949)

Stray Dog (1949)

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Kurosawa is best known for his historical epics, but few of his films are as profound as this story of a police officer who must hunt down his pistol after it gets stolen in post-war Tokyo.

Scandal (1950)

Rashomon (1950)

The Idiot (1951)

Ikiru (1952)

Seven Samurai (1954)

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This is the one you know about, a legendary epic of seven hired fighters sworn to protect a village from marauding thieves. Lots of fighting and male bonding ensue.

I Live in Fear (1955)

Throne of Blood (1957)

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This adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth features an incredible final scene that’s worth the price of admission on its own.

The Lower Depths (1957)

The Hidden Fortress (1958)

The Bad Sleep Well (1960)

Yojimbo (1961)

Sanjuro (1962)

High and Low (1963)

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My favorite Kurosawa film, the story of a rich businessman whose servant’s son is mistaken for his own and then kidnapped. Movies don’t get much better than this.

Red Beard (1965)

Dodes'ka-den (1970)

Dersu Uzala (1975)

Kagemusha (1980)

Ran (1985)

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Kurosawa’s visually mind-blowing adaptation of King Lear, featuring great performances and epic battle scenes.

Dreams (1990)

Rhapsody in August (1991)

Madadayo (1993)