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Drunken Angel (1948)

Yoidore tenshi (original title)
Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 30 December 1959 (USA)
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


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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Even though the story takes place during the hot summer, breath can be seen coming from characters in several scenes. 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

Kosame no uta
(uncredited)
Music by Ryôichi Hattori
Lyrics by Hachirô Satô
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A strong reflection of the morals of man
4 September 1999 | by (buffalo, ny) – See all my reviews

A very, very vivid film from Japanese legend, Akira Kurosawa. The Japanese town that is the setting for "Drunken Angel" is vividly captured by Kurosawa, and the filthy swamp that separates the doctor from the filthiness of the town is brilliant. Toshiro Mifune plays a tuberculosis stricken gangster who is slowly won over, despite his vicious pride, by the caring but sarcastic doctor. The swamp is a reflection of the corruption in the town and in one of the first scenes a group of children are seen playing in it. Kurosawa's way of foreshadowing these children's future since the town is controlled by the immoral gangsters. With the arrival of Okadu, a released convict and gangster, and struggles with his health, Mifune struggles through conflicts of soul which are brilliantly metaphored by Kurosawa. A great drama with some brilliant commentary about post-WW2 Japan. Solid characters carry with film about typical with the Doctor being an unforgettable creation and Toshiro Mifune giving a powerful performance.


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