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Underworld Beauty (1958) More at IMDbPro »Ankokugai no bijo (original title)


Overview

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Director:
Writer:
Susumu Saji (writer)
Contact:
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Release Date:
25 March 1958 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot Keywords:
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User Reviews:
A dangerously beautiful Japanese film noir masterpiece from Seijun Suzuki. See more (6 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Michitaro 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 ... Fujita
Ayako Fukuda ... School Girl A
Kyôko Horikawa ... School Girl B
Ryusei Ito
Bumon Kahara ... Hatano
Hiroshi Katô
Ichirô Kijima
Hiroshi Kondô ... Atita
Kazuo Mihara ... Detective
Jun Miyazaki ... Yoneyama
Kyoichi Mizuki
Reiko Sakuma
Eiko Takada ... The Nurse
Seijiro Takano ... Policeman
Kaku Takashina ... Ôsawa
Chigusa Takayama ... Mineko
Keisuke Yukioka ... Sakai
Fumisuke Ômi

Directed by
Seijun Suzuki 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Susumu Saji  writer

Produced by
Takashi Nishihara .... producer
 
Original Music by
Naozumi Yamamoto 
 
Cinematography by
Wataro Nakao 
 
Film Editing by
Akira Suzuki 
 
Production Design by
Takeharu Sakaguchi 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kazunari Takeda .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Saburo Takahashi .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Masahiro Takashima .... gaffer
 
Other crew
Rosemary Dean .... english subtitles
Tetsuro Shimauchi .... english subtitles
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ankokugai no bijo" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
87 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Company:

FAQ

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
A dangerously beautiful Japanese film noir masterpiece from Seijun Suzuki., 14 July 2005
Author: Ham_and_Egger from Indianapolis, Indiana

This is simply one of those crime films that transcends its pulp nature and becomes art. It comes from Nikkatsu Studios and the writing, sets, etc. are as good as anything coming out of Hollywood at the time.

'Ankokugai no bijo' is very much an American film in style, simply set in Japan. It's something like a Japanese master painting an incredible picture from an American photograph. The story is taut and sinuous, it's unclear to me who wrote it, but it reeks of Cornell Woolrich as is moves inexorably toward it's conclusion but with enough twists along the way that it doesn't feel preprogrammed.

The director, Seijun Suzuki, is an auteur of the first magnitude, which is already fully visible in this his seventh film. Suzuki gives us ingenious images throughout and uses the wide angle ("Nikkatsu Scope") frame like an artist. He's abetted by Wataro Nakao's beautiful black and white cinematography. Particularly well photographed are a scene in a sewer and the climactic shootout in a darkened building splashed with angular puddles of light.

The plot centers around some diamonds stolen by protagonist Miyamoto (Michitaro Mizushima, I assume) and left hidden while he spent three years in prison. Miyamoto is a morally ambiguous but honorable and seemingly independent yakuza thief. He swaggers through Tokyo in a black coat and hat, facial expression varying between a scowl and a sneer, it's clear that he's not unfamiliar with Humphrey Bogart. Akkiko (presumably Mari Shiraki) is the kittenish younger sister of Miyamoto's partner. She's on the verge of "going down the wrong path" and when her brother dies, not surprisingly as a result of Miyamoto and his diamonds, it's up to the black-hat hero to save her, and maybe save himself in the bargain (wink).

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