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

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  30 December 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,213 users  
Reviews: 36 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 overview, first billed only:
Reizaburô Yamamoto ...
Michiyo Kogure ...
Chieko Nakakita ...
Noriko Sengoku ...
Shizuko Kasagi ...
Eitarô Shindô ...
Masao Shimizu ...
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Shop Proprietor
Chôko Iida ...
Ko Ubukata ...
Akira Tani ...
Yakuza Follower
Sachio Sakai ...
Guitar Player


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 December 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drunken Angel  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The main character was inspired by a real life alcoholic doctor working unlicensed in the Tokyo black market district that Akira Kurosawa and writing partner and childhood friend Keinosuke Uekusa came across. See more »


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 »


Dr. Sanada: Martyrdom is out of style.
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Featured in Smashing UK Top 10: Top 10 Film Directors (2013) See more »


Hitogoroshi no uta
Written by Fumio Hayasaka
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User Reviews

Great movie ... where's the DVD?
20 September 2006 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie for many reasons:

The film history : it's the first collaboration between Akira Kurosawa (director) and Toshiro Mifune (actor) that continued through 15 more films including the sublime Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Yojimbo.

The style : it's a great film noir with gangsters, zoot suits, speakeasy's, gambling etc.,

The history : post WW II Japan is a frightening place with rubble, raw sewage, crime and hope. It's a world I hadn't seen before.

Toshiro Mifune : What an amazing actor. He oozes charisma and you cannot take your eyes off of him. His performance reminded me of the first time I saw Russell Crowe, in a little seen mediocre movie called "For the Moment" which I watched many times because of Crowe's intensity.

My only problem is the copy I saw was terrible. The print was faded and half of the subtitles were illegible. When will this be released on DVD? It's not Kurosawa's best film, but it's certainly better than most of the drivel out there.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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