In 1980, the revered Japanese director Akira Kurosawa shot Kagemusha, otherwise known as The Shadow Warrior. Francis Ford Coppola was the producer. Somewhere during the production, the two filmmakers lent their star power to a series of commercials for Suntory Whisky. If you're a regular reader, you know that many cultural icons have pitched Japanese products in times past -- take for example Woody Allen, James Brown, Nicolas Cage, Paul Newman and good ole Dennis Hopper. And, if you're even a casual moviegoer, you know that Sofia Coppola (daughter of Francis) put an American movie star drinking whisky at the center of her Oscar-nominated film, Lost in Translation (2003). And it wasn't just any whisky that Bill Murray was sipping. It was Suntory Whisky.
Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.