The Idiot (1951)

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The Idiot is a 1951 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa. It is based on the novel The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Originally intended to be a two-part film with a running time of 265 minutes. After a single, poorly received, screening of the full-length version the film was severely cut at the request of the studio. This was against Kurosawa's wishes. When the re-edited version was also deemed too long by the studio, Kurosawa sardonically suggested the film be cut lengthwise instead. According to Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, there are no existing prints of the original 265-minute version. Kurosawa would return to Shochiku forty years later to make Rhapsody in August, and, according to Alex Cox, is said to have searched the Shochiku archives for the original cut of the film to no avail.