6.7/10
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2 user 14 critic

Voice Without a Shadow (1958)

Kagenaki koe (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 22 October 1958 (Japan)
Ishikawa, a newspaper journalist, unexpectedly meets Asako, a woman who used to work for his company some time ago as a phone operator. Three years ago, she accidentally heard the voice of ... See full summary »

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, (story "Koe") | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Asako Takahashi
Hideaki Nitani ...
Hiroshi Ishikawa
Nobuo Kaneko ...
Kawai
Toshio Takahara ...
Shigeo Kotani
Shinsuke Ashida ...
Muraoka
...
Hamazaki
Kenjirô Uemura
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Vice-director Mimura
Midori Ishizuka ...
Mari
Yôko Kosono ...
Mayumi
Kan Yanagiya ...
Suzumoto
Hiroshi Kondô ...
Kobayashi
Hiroshi Chô ...
Hatanaka
Keisuke Noro ...
Akira
Kaku Takashina
Edit

Storyline

Ishikawa, a newspaper journalist, unexpectedly meets Asako, a woman who used to work for his company some time ago as a phone operator. Three years ago, she accidentally heard the voice of a suspect who committed a still-unresolved homicide. Since then, the suspect's voice has remained lodged in her mind as a terrifying memory. One night, her husband invites over his colleagues, Kawai, Hamazaki, and Muraoka. She realizes that Hamazaki's voice sounds exactly the same as the unseen suspect's! A few days later, Hamazaki is found dead in a rain-soaked coalfield; her husband is kept in police custody as the primary suspect. Ishikawa tries to help Asako and launches his own investigation. However, the investigation soon runs into difficulty as both Kawai and Muraoka had alibis. To make matters worse, her husband implausibly confesses Written by Nikkatsu

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 October 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Voice Without a Shadow  »

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Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Hidden Gem Finally Unearthed
17 February 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ishikawa, a newspaper journalist, unexpectedly meets Asako, a woman who used to work for his company some time ago as a phone operator. Three years ago, she accidentally heard the voice of a suspect who committed a still-unresolved homicide. Since then, the suspect's voice has remained lodged in her mind as a terrifying memory.

What might strike you about the plot is how it seems to have the same setup as the Italian giallo: someone sees, hears or smells something just for an instant and it lurks in their mind for a while until it finally helps them solve a murder. What makes this plot particularly interesting is how it actually predates the giallo film -- did Japan beat Italy to the punch? "Voice Without a Shadow" is available from Arrow Video on their set Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Vol 1, along with "Red Pier" and "The Rambling Guitarist". Seemingly, no one has seen these films since their theatrical release decades ago, which completely baffles the mind. "Voice" is worthy of Argento or Hitchcock, and how it languished in obscurity is a real tragedy.

I strongly encourage people to pick this set up. Classic Japanese cinema is more than giant monsters (kaiju) and samurai films, more than Toho, Ozu and Kurosawa. They were on the cutting edge of many of the greatest genre scenes, but for one reason or another just never got their due. Thank you, Arrow Video.


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