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Ankokugai no bijo (1958)

Released from prison, a gangster (Michitaro Mizushima) retrieves diamonds sought by fellow yakuza.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michitarô Mizushima ...
Miyamoto
Mari Shiraki ...
Akiko Mihara
Shinsuke Ashida ...
Ôyane
Tôru Abe ...
Mihara
Hideaki Nitani ...
Detective Watanabe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Setsuko Amamiya ...
Keiko
Tomio Aoki
Shôki Fukae ...
Ayako Fukuda ...
School Girl A
Akinori Hanamura ...
Detective (as Kazuo Mihara)
Kyôko Horikawa ...
School Girl B
Ryûsei Itô ...
(as Ryusei Ito)
Bumon Kahara ...
Hatano
Hiroshi Katô
Ichirô Kijima
Edit

Storyline

Released from prison, a gangster (Michitaro Mizushima) retrieves diamonds sought by fellow yakuza.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

japanese noir | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Underworld Beauty  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Diamonds are forever.
13 May 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This early Suzuki entry in the crime genre, set in post-war Tokyo, is as interesting as its premise. Different people trying to recover a set of diamonds from the stomach of a dead guy. And like the McGuffin around which the pulpy story revolves (the diamonds), Underworld Beauty is every bit as beautiful.

Despite sharing many similarities in look and tone with American 40's film noirs, Suzuki here opts for a more subtle approach, infused with black comedy and sweet irony. With great performances from the cast (especially the younger sister of the dead man) and a tight, gripping story, what elevates Underworld Beauty further above standard fare is Suzuki's imaginative camera-work and b/w cinematography. The exterior shots of Tokyo capture the mood of the times, alternating between seedy roads and rundown neighborhoods to hip joints where American sailors are hitting on Japanese girls. Suzuki already had an eye for composition and framing which he would go on to develop later in his career, but here he's happy enough to implement it in the service of a pulpy genre picture.

Like many of the top directors of all time (from Leone to Wilder and Hitchcock), he was able to do genre pictures on studio demand yet instill his personal vision to make what started out as routine affairs into small pieces of art. Underworld Beauty is just that. A rough gem that will especially appeal to film noir fans.


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