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

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  30 December 1959 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,138 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 61 critic

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Reizaburô Yamamoto ...
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:

Drunken Angel  »

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

First of many collaborations between Toshirô Mifune and Akira Kurosawa. See more »

Goofs

When Matsunaga throws the Doctor out of the "Bolero", we see him fall on his back. His shirtsleeves are rolled up, so his forearms are bare: his left arm does not make contact with the ground. The next scene is of him cleaning a wound in his left forearm, below the elbow. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Sanada: Martyrdom is out of style.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Cuckoo Waltz
(uncredited)
Written by J.E. Jonasson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
He tormented you, made you sick, and then deserted you like a puppy. And you still wag your tail and follow him.
1 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was Toshiro Mifune's first film with Akira Kurosawa, and only his fourth film in his career. he was so young that it was hard to recognize him, even though he was second billed and essential to the story.

The star of this film was Takashi Shimura, who would go on to earn two BAFTA nominations. He was a doctor who was famous for his ability to treat TB patients, but he was also a slave to alcohol. It didn't affect his work much, but he really looked the part of a drunk.

What was even better was his ability to get to the root of problems. The idea that we do some really stupid things recurred throughout, starting with himself. he lived fast and hard as a young man, and it is telling on him now.

We also see his assistant vacillating between giving her man another chance now that he is out of prison, even thoug he mistreated her shamefully. The Doctor (Shimura) is livid with her for even considering it. She hates hime for what he did, but wants to see if he has changed. You can imagine the rage of the doctor at that! The main part of the story involves Toshiro Mifune, as a Yakuza leader, who has TB. He refuses to cooperate in his treatment and this again makes the doctor furious. He cannot understand why he won't make the necessary sacrifices to save his life.

One of the most fascinating features in the movie was seeing Shizuko Kasagi (Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless to Confess), as a singer in the dance hall. She reminded me of Cab Calloway in her singing. This was obviously due to the influence of the Americans occupying Japan.

Kirosawa certainly gave us a glimpse of great things to come with this film.


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