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Trivia / Dersu Uzala

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  • Troubled Production: As no Japanese studio wanted to fund Kurosawa, he had to work with a Soviet one, Mosfilm. They clashed with Kurosawa as his perfectionism did not fit the "deliver a certain amount of shot film per day" the company wanted. Union fights were recurrent, and cameramen were changed every week. There was only one interpreter - to a crew of mostly Russians! To make the tiger attack more realistic, a wild one was used instead of a domesticated animal - and needless to say, it wasn't collaborative. No wonder the film took 3 years to get ready.
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  • What Could Have Been: The Soviet producers initially wanted to cast Kurosawa's frequent collaborator, Toshiro Mifune, in the role of Dersu, but he refused due to scheduling conflicts and an acrimonious falling-out they had with Kurosawa in 1965. In the end a Soviet actor Maxim Munzuk got the title role.
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