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Drunken Angel (1948)
"Yoidore tenshi" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,176 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 56 critic

A drunken doctor with a hot temper and a violence-prone gangster with tuberculosis form a quicksilver bond.

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Title: Drunken Angel (1948)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sanada
...
Reisaburô Yamamoto ...
Okada
Michiyo Kogure ...
Nanae
Chieko Nakakita ...
Miyo
Noriko Sengoku ...
Gin
Shizuko Kasagi ...
Singer
Eitarô Shindô ...
Takahama
Masao Shimizu ...
Oyabun
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Shop Proprietor
...
Schoolgirl
Chôko Iida ...
Bâya
Ko Ubukata ...
Punk
Akira Tani ...
Yakuza Follower
Sachio Sakai ...
Guitar Player
Edit

Storyline

After a battle with rival criminals, a small-time gangster is treated by an alcoholic doctor in post-war Japan. The doctor diagnoses the young gangster's tuberculosis, and convinces him to begin treatment for it. The two enjoy an uneasy friendship until the gangster's former boss is released from prison and seeks to take over his gang once again. The ailing young man loses his status as gang boss and becomes ostracised, and eventually confronts his former boss in a battle to the death. Written by Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El ángel borracho  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In early drafts of the script, the story was almost entirely about Doctor Sanada (Takashi Shimura) and Matsunaga the thug (Toshirô Mifune) was a small supporting part. However, Akira Kurosawa was so impressed with Mifune's performance that he greatly increased the Matsunaga part, to the point where the Doctor and Matsunaga are almost equal in screen-time. See more »

Goofs

When Matsunaga wakes up in Nanae's bed, he has a wet compress on his chest, under the pajama shirt. When he sits up and takes it off, it is on top of his shirt. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Sanada: The Japanese love to sacrifice themselves for stupid things.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kurosawa and the Censors (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Minato ga mieru oka
(uncredited)
Written by Tatsuzô Azuma
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life's a Swamp
29 June 2009 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

This good, if not great early Kurosawa is still rough around the edges and not free of obvious symbolism and narrative weaknesses. It all feels somewhat forced and not quite as fluent and natural as later works.

But, needless to say, there are always pleasures to be had from a movie made by this wonderful artist: Kurosawa favourites Shimura and Mifune (in his first teaming with Kurosawa) give their usual multi-layered performances, the mise-en-scène is superb, and a sound gimmick featuring guitar-playing is brilliantly used to enhance atmosphere.

In this instance, though, one cannot fully swallow the director's "life's a swamp but use your willpower and watch out for the silver lining"-attitude. He jumbled it this time. But glorious things would follow...

7 out of 10 buckets of immaculately white paint


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