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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 5,888 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 59 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:
...
...
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

The performance of Toshiro Mifune as the violent young gangster, Matsunaga (his fourth overall and first in a Kurosawa movie), was so powerful and memorable that, according to director Akira Kurosawa, many people in Japan (and presumably elsewhere) falsely assume that the title, "Drunken Angel," was intended to refer to Matsunaga. But Kurosawa had actually intended the title character to be the alcoholic doctor, Sanada (played by Takashi Shimura), who treats Matsunaga, because, for the filmmaker, he is an "angel" for attempting to save the gangster from his illness and violent lifestyle, despite his own weakness for alcohol. 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: He tormented you, made you sick, and then deserted you like a puppy. And you still wag your tail and follow him.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Smashing UK Top 10: Top 10 Film Directors (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Odd but fascinating film
19 July 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a strange film about a very committed but screwed up doctor in post-war Japan. The doctor lives in the slums of Tokyo and is amazed at the filth and widespread incidence of preventable diseases among the poor. While this is an important cause to him, so is getting drunk and screwing up his life. However, the doctor meets a young hoodlum, played by Toshiro Mifune, and he treats him even when the guy insists everything is just fine! And, at times afterwards, Mifune alternates from being thankful and decent to being belligerent and completely antisocial. Throughout the film, the doctor works hard to keep this unlikable character alive--despite it seeming pretty obvious that Mifune has a death wish. A fascinating and odd story about the relationship between two very oddly matched men.


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