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Mifune Getting Real Arrows Shot At Him Was One Of The Coolest Stunts You'll Ever See

In case you're not familiar with Toshiro Mifune, he was a Japanese actor best known for his collaborations with one of the greatest filmmakers in history, Akira Kurosawa. Together, they made Seven Samurai, Rashomon, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, and this movie: Throne of Blood. 

These might not be movies that you are familiar with, but you are definitely familiar with the movies they inspired. Lets take a look:

Seven Samurai: This movie is about a group of samurai hired to protect a town from roving bandits. It is incredible, and directly inspired a lot of directors you know and love including Tarantino, George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg. The plot became the direct blueprint for movies like "The Magnificent 7", and the visual elements later inspired movies like 'Blade Runner', 'The Lord of the Rings', 'The Matrix' 'Mad Max' and more. It's widely considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made. 

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Yojimbo: This is about a Ronin that enters a town stuck in a battle between two crime lords who compete for his services. The idea was later stolen by Leone to make "A Fistful of Dollars" which lead to a big studio lawsuit. It also influenced Django (not unchained) and other movies like Last man Standing. It is essentially the archetype for "drifter comes into town and shakes things up".

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The Hidden Fortress: This is about a pair of peasants hired to escort a man and woman through enemy territory. What the peasants don't know is that the woman is a princess, and the man a general. It's another awesome story that later directly directly inspired one of the biggest Kurosawa fans in cinema, George Lucas, when he was writing Star Wars: A New Hope. 

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Throne of Blood: This was Kurosawa's adaptation of Macbeth which starred Mifune in what would be the titular role of that play. Macbeth was a play that I never dug in high school, and I've seen a lot of adaptations of it. The Fassbender one was very solid, but I didn't love the Welles one. Throne of Blood, however is in a league of it's own.  

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Part of what makes the movie so great is it's ending scene, with Mifune's General Washizu getting barraged with arrows shot by his own troops. In most movies made in this period, this would be a real crappy looking effect. In this movie, Mifune let a group of professional archers shoot needle-tipped arrows at him from near point-blank range to have the real effect. You'll be hard pressed to find an actor outside of Buster Keaton, Jackie Chan or Tom Cruise with this level of dedication. 

And there is also a level of heartwarming to this story, with Kurosawa and Mifune retreating after the shoot to the prop room, beer in hand, for a "rowdy night of drinking". これより良いものは何ですか?かっこいい男はかっこいい男