The highly influential director writes to Sidney, most likely Sidney Carroll, American screenwriter best known for "The Hustler." Kurowsawa discusses his script, "The Runaway Train," that would not be made into a film until 1985. Kurosawa wrote the screenplay with Hideo Oguni and Ryuzo Kikushima in 1965. Carroll’s task was to convert the dialogue into American vernacular and the structure into American production standards. American producer Joseph E. Levine became interested in making the film, which would have been Kurosawa’s first outside of the Japanese studio system. The film was to be shot in the US between October 1966 and February 1967 for a late 1967 release. It would be Kurosawa’s first film shot in color, but predominantly dominated by black train engines and a white snow covered landscape. Various problems ensued, which prompted Kurosawa to request a one year delay and Levine to ultimately cancel production. The screenplay circulated for the next fifteen years, was ultimately picked by the Cannon Group and turned into a film released in 1985. The film's director, Andrei Konchalovsky, sought and gained Kurosawa’s approval for the project. (see Hiroshi Tasogawa’s book "All the Emperor's Men," 2012, Applause). Kurosawa writes, "Dear Sidney... I was completely fascinated by your great talent. I do have trust on what you have done, but not on its translation in Japanese. However, I have made a few basic changes of structure and made long dialogues shorter when I feel it is vitally necessary to do so actually. But, I think there is not much difference between your image and mine. Let us give a big toast to our THE RUNAWAY TRAIN together when we see it in a screen...." He signs in his bold hand, "Akira Kurosawa." Type has somewhat faded but all text remains clear. Sunning evident across top margin and, on verso, at top left corner, some uneven browning.
Kurosawa is listed as the 6th greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly, 1996.