Akira Kurosawa

I Live in Fear

I Live in Fear

Both the final film of this period in which Akira Kurosawa would directly wrestle with the demons of the Second World War and his most literal representation of living in an atomic age, the galvanizing I Live in Fear presents Toshiro Mifune as an elderly, stubborn businessman so fearful of a nuclear attack that he resolves to move his reluctant family to South America. With this mournful film, the director depicts a society emerging from the shadows but still terrorized by memories of the past and anxieties for the future.

Film Info

  • Japan
  • 1955
  • 103 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 7: Postwar Kurosawa

Eclipse 7: Postwar Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

5 Discs


Collector's Set

AK 100: 25 Films by Akira Kurosawa

AK 100: 25 Films by Kurosawa

DVD Box Set

25 Discs


Out Of Print
I Live in Fear
Toshiro Mifune
Kiichi Nakajima
Minoru Chiaki
Jiro Nakajima
Masao Shimizu
Takao Yamazaki
Eiko Miyoshi
Toyo Nakajima
Kyoko Aoyama
Sue Nakajima
Haruko Togo
Yoshi Yamazaki
Yutaka Sata
Ichiro Nakajima
Kamatari Fujiwara
Takashi Shimura
Doctor Harada
Akira Kurosawa
Shojiro Motoki
Shinobo Hashimoto
Akira Kurosawa
Hideo Oguni
Asakazu Nakai
Art director
Yoshiro Muraki
Fumio Hayasaka



Toshiro Mifune


Toshiro Mifune
Toshiro Mifune

Akira Kurosawa once said, “The ordinary Japanese actor might need ten feet of film to get across an impression. Toshiro Mifune needed only three feet.” The filmmaker certainly gave Mifune a lot of space, however: over the course of sixteen collaborations, the actor and the director created some of the most dynamic characters ever put on-screen, all marked by an intense physicality and a surprising tenderness. Kurosawa first took note of the handsome actor when Mifune was twenty-seven, during an open audition at Toho Studios; he was soon cast in Snow Trail (1947), a film Kurosawa wrote for director Senkichi Taniguchi. Just one year later, Kurosawa gave him the lead in Drunken Angel as a consumptive gangster. Mifune proceeded to inhabit a variety of deeply felt roles for Kurosawa, including an artist hounded by paparazzi (Scandal); a bandit who may or not be a rapist and murderer (Rashomon); a loose cannon ronin who reluctantly protects a village (Seven Samurai); an elderly patriarch terrified of a second nuclear attack (I Live in Fear); and, probably most iconically, the wily, shiftless samurai Yojimbo. Mifune is known for more than his work with Kurosawa; see him in Hiroshi Inagaki’s Oscar-winning Samurai Trilogy and Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai Rebellion. But it is Kurosawa’s greatest films that are most unimaginable without Mifune’s bravado streaking across them like lightning. The pair parted ways professionally in 1965.