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The Crimson Kimono (1959)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 5 May 1960 (Mexico)
Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship.

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Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Christine Downs
...
Det. Sgt. Charlie Bancroft
...
Det. Joe Kojaku
...
Mac
Paul Dubov ...
Casale
Jaclynne Greene ...
Roma
Neyle Morrow ...
Hansel
...
Sugar Torch
Pat Silver ...
Mother (as Barbara Hayden)
George Yoshinaga ...
Willy Hidaka
Kaye Elhardt ...
Nun
Aya Oyama ...
Sister Gertrude
George Okamura ...
Charlie, karate teacher
Ryosho S. Sogabe ...
Priest (as Reverend Ryosho S. Sogabe)
Bob Okazaki ...
George Yoshinaga (as Robert Okazaki)
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Storyline

Classic, hard-to-find Sam Fuller pic is intriguing noir about two detective partners, one caucasian and one Japanese, who try to solve a complicated murder case. Unfortunately, trouble arises when along the way, both of them fall in love with the key witness! Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Yes, this is a beautiful American girl in the arms of a Japanese boy!


Certificate:

Approved

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

5 May 1960 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Den blodrøde kimono  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Glenn Corbett. See more »

Goofs

The final aerial shot pulling back from the streets of Los Angeles is running backwards, evidenced by the vehicle headlights all running backwards. See more »

Quotes

Christine Downs: Were you ever in love with a man from a different world?
Mac: Ah, many, many times!
Christine Downs: Well, was he, uh, someone of a different race?
Mac: [pauses] There was a Hindu in Bombay...
Christine Downs: Was he sensitive about the difference between you?
Mac: [laughs] HE wasn't... but his father looked down his imperious nose at me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
has that crackling, off-key appeal of Fuller in his prime
14 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you can, and it would definitely be as rare a chance as I had recently, try and see Samuel Fuller's The Crimson Kimono on the big screen, preferably with a packed audience. True, some of the dialog and mannerisms of the characters end up forty-seven years later coming off as being too funny for its own good. But then again, Fuller's style here, as in the films that would follow in the 60's (and linked of course to his 50's work), is that of sensationalism yet not in a way that feels too dishonest. It's got a sharp cast of professionals, with Glenn Corbett and James Shigetta as the leads playing Detective partners who are investigating a case that somehow leads to a sort of love triangle with a witness Victoria Shaw. And Fuller is able to make the film quite entertaining with at least a few memorable moments almost in spite of the low-budget of things.

The opening sequence is, naturally for Fuller, part of the excitement and close-to-exploitation B-movie-ness of it all, as a stripper gets gunned down running away from her dressing room. Even before this we get the opening titles popping out at the screen, almost being too obvious. But to say that the film is at times leaning towards tongue-in-cheek is more of an observation than a criticism. It fits the style that some of the dialog bits are really sharp and, indeed, well-written, and that as such the actors take it not too seriously as to make it heavy-handed but not too over the top to have the audience lose interest. Indeed, one of the more interesting scenes is when Shaw and Shigeta get to talking while Corbett is out doing work, as they become connected in a way that is different than how earlier Shaw and Corbett flirted around in a cool though 'movie' kind of way.

All through this Fuller pumps up the melodrama with well-shot action (the big Korean guy getting tackled down by the detectives was maybe my favorite scene on a shamelessly enjoyable level) and enough of a kind of mix of psychology and sociology in this cross section of Japan and America. And it's interesting how he slightly improves in flipping the situation from House of Bamboo where the Japanese atmosphere wasn't as convincing. It's probably a tough find for most, and of course even rarer to get on the big-screen depending on where you're at, but it might be one of Fuller's better 'quickie' kind of movies where its 80 minute running time does just enough to make it very worthwhile in not overstaying its welcome. It's funny, thoughtful, and assured film-noir.


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