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Stray Dog (1949)
"Nora inu" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  31 August 1963 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 9,035 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 53 critic

During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Keiko Awaji ...
Harumi Namaki, showgirl
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Harumi's mother
Noriko Sengoku ...
Girl
Noriko Honma ...
Wooden Tub Shop woman
Reikichi Kawamura
Eijirô Tôno
Yasushi Nagata ...
(as Kiyoshi Nagata)
Kappei Matsumoto ...
(as Katsuhei Matsumoto)
Isao Kimura ...
Yusa
Minoru Chiaki ...
Girlie Show director
Teruko Kishi
Ichirô Sugai ...
Yayoi Hotel owner
Gen Shimizu ...
Police Inspector Nakajima
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Storyline

Murukami, a young homicide detective, has his pocket picked on a bus and loses his pistol. Frantic and ashamed, he dashes about trying to recover the weapon without success until taken under the wing of an older and wiser detective, Sato. Together they track the culprit. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 August 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stray Dog  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa:  [weather]  The symbolic usage of weather in this movie is evident in its depiction of Japan under a sunny heatwave, making some characters anticipate the rain. The sunny weather morphs into a dark gray, cloudy sky pattern in the scene where Murakami has a feeling that something bad will happen. Near the end of the movie, when the plot starts heavily escalating, the skies unleash a big downpour. See more »

Quotes

Det. Sato: Bad luck can make a man or destroy a man.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad Detective (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Waves of the Danube
Composed by Iosif Ivanovici
This is played by a harmonica player outside the bar where Murakami follows Ogin.
(The melody is also known as "The Anniversary Song", the title Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin gave to their adaptation of it.)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The brilliance of early Kurosawa
3 August 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Impressive as some of the later films of Kurosawa are - "Kagemusha" and "Ran" for example, I have to confess that it is his early work, particularly those set in modern Japan as opposed to its feudal past, that I find myself returning to with greater pleasure. He was not one of those artists who necessarily got better and better, rather was he one who continued to take on different challenges, not always with the same degree of success, as "Dodesukaden" and "Dreams" were to prove. I have long regarded the 1952 "Ikiru" as his greatest achievement, with the three modern day day films starring Toshiro Mifune that precede it, "Drunken Angel", "The Quiet Duel" and "Stray Dog", fascinating consolidations of his skill as a director. "Stray Dog" revels in technical accomplishment. It tells the story of a policeman who, after experiencing the theft of his gun while travelling on a bus, embarks on an odyssey to retrieve it. Questions of morality and honour loom large as they do in any Kurosawa film, with the quest becoming ever more urgent as evidence is gathered of the weapon being used in criminal activities. What might be regarded as plain bad luck in another culture is here seen as a matter of shame and dishonour by the unfortunate policeman, that has to be addressed forsaking all else. The search is pursued in a dazzling series of chases, encounters and interrogations that leaves the audience, like the hero, exhausted at times. The weather is hot throughout, characters sweat profusely and sometimes everything erupts in a tropical downpour - no other director uses rain so physically. Perhaps, at over two hours, "Stray Dog" is a little too long to sustain its material. It sags a little in the middle, but the chases at the outer ends of the film are wonderfully done, particularly the penultimate sequence where the cop pursues his prey through vegetation where city and countryside meet. You can almost smell the steamy atmosphere of a morning after rain where everything is about to heat up again. Possibly the other two Mifune films of the same period have the edge on this. They are more meditative works, their lengths more sustainable. But, for sheer cinematic bravado, this is the one.


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