IMDb > The Crimson Kimono (1959)
The Crimson Kimono
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The Crimson Kimono (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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The Crimson Kimono -- Two detectives fall in love with a key witness during a difficult murder case.


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7.0/10   1,064 votes »
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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Samuel Fuller (written by)
View company contact information for The Crimson Kimono on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 May 1960 (Mexico) See more »
Yes, this is a beautiful American girl in the arms of a Japanese boy!
Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(15 articles)
James Shigeta Dead: Die Hard, Mulan, Flower Drum Song Actor Dies at 81
 (From Us Weekly. 29 July 2014, 3:26 AM, PDT)

In memoriam: James Shigeta
 (From Den of Geek. 29 July 2014, 12:15 AM, PDT)

R.I.P. James Shigeta
 (From Deadline. 28 July 2014, 7:29 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
You only saw what you wanted to see See more (37 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Victoria Shaw ... Christine Downs

Glenn Corbett ... Det. Sgt. Charlie Bancroft

James Shigeta ... Det. Joe Kojaku

Anna Lee ... Mac
Paul Dubov ... Casale
Jaclynne Greene ... Roma
Neyle Morrow ... Hansel

Gloria Pall ... 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)
Fuji ... Shuto
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Burke ... Ziggy (uncredited)
Jack Carol ... Man (uncredited)
Robert Kino ... Announcer (uncredited)
Harrison Lewis ... Waiter (uncredited)

David McMahon ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Edo Mita ... Gardener (uncredited)
Torau Mori ... Kendo Referee (uncredited)
Rollin Moriyama ... Man (uncredited)
Carol Nugent ... Girl (uncredited)
Brian O'Hara ... Police Captain (uncredited)

Stafford Repp ... City Librarian (uncredited)
Nina Roman ... College Girl (uncredited)
Katie Sweet ... Child (uncredited)
Chiyo Toto ... Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
Samuel Fuller 
Writing credits
Samuel Fuller (written by)

Produced by
Samuel Fuller .... producer
Original Music by
Harry Sukman 
Cinematography by
Sam Leavitt (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jerome Thoms 
Art Direction by
Robert F. Boyle  (as Robert Boyle)
William Flannery  (as William E. Flannery)
Set Decoration by
James Crowe  (as James M. Crowe)
Costume Design by
Bernice Pontrelli 
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup supervisor
Helen Hunt .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Floyd Joyer .... assistant director
Sound Department
John P. Livadary .... recording supervisor (as John Livadary)
J.S. Westmoreland .... sound (as Josh Westmoreland)
Stacy Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Allen Pinson .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator
Harry Sukman .... conductor
Other crew
George Okamura .... technical advisor: martial arts (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
82 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

In Nov. 1959, Columbia Pictures distributed this film on a double bill with Battle of the Coral Sea (1959) starring Cliff Robertson.See more »
Continuity: In the final scenes in which Joe, Chris, and Charlie are making up, Mac is not present, however she is with the group when they race from the restaurant in pursuit of Hansel. In the next shot, as they enter the doll show, Mac is gone, again. Then when the pursuit goes back to the streets, Mac and Chris are racing through the crowd holding hands.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in How to Commit Marriage (1969)See more »


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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
You only saw what you wanted to see, 15 June 2006
Author: antcol8 from United States

Not like I want to lecture all of you...but this film does a bit more than it's being given credit for. In fact, it engages with the nature of image and illusion and its relation to reality. Maybe it doesn't do this in the profoundest of ways, but this is as proper a subject for film-making as can be. Hitchcock's Rear Window is the obvious masterpiece in this respect, but if you take your attention (or "gaze" if you prefer) off of the story or the genre of this film for a second, you can't avoid the fact that every scene has this at its core. The film is filled with Westerners who have a fixation or fascination with otherness as represented, in this case, by "orientalism". They are experts in Asian art and martial arts; they are infusing their work and life with exoticism.They have a curatorial approach to life; they are voyeurs, to some degree. Painters and painting - imagemaking - plays a key role in the film.The Japanese - American (Nisei) detective Joe attempts to bridge the gap that exists between himself and Christine through a tongue-tied analysis of what is missing in her canvas - what is visible by its absence. He also attempts to figure out whether his thinking is more "Asian" or "American" in its nature. This is symbolized by his playing a Japanese folk song on the most Western of instruments, the well-tempered piano. He sees himself as a hybrid. He is aware of the fact that he sees the world through a combination of several possible filters. The line "You only saw what you wanted to see" has key significance in this film,underscoring as it does several key scenes. By the use of the word "you", it also implicates the VIEWER of the film. The viewer of a film only sees what he/she wants to see: notice, for example, how this whole aspect of this film, which I consider essential, has gone unmentioned in all the other commentaries! Joe wants Christine to see him for himself, fearful of her taking the curatorial or voyeuristic approach to their interracial relationship - Deleuze's famous line "when you are lost in the dream of the other, you are screwed" comes to mind - and yet Joe forgets that he sees HIMSELF as fragmented, made up of parts.

The stripper's dying in the street is accompanied by raucous stripper music and is immediately contrasted with her lascivious life-size representation above the marquee. The life force and escapism represented there is contrasted with the funky facts of life and death. Her manager's description of the Asian - influenced act which she was planning uses the language of aesthetics to describe a piece of cutting-edge trash much as the film we are watching operates both on the level of a program-filling potboiler and an examination of personal tropes. All this having been said, I will admit that, having recently re-seen Pickup On South Street, I was a bit spoiled by the earlier film. Neither Glenn Corbett nor Victoria Shaw seem to inhabit their roles adequately enough. I understand that Fuller films are not about "acting" per se, but still...And Sam Leavitt is no Joe McDonald (cinematography). I loved the denouement's taking place within the fast-moving Nisei parade, but this is a real Wells (Lady from Shanghai) via Hitchcock (39 Steps) moment. And they both did it better, for what it's worth. Still, I love Fuller and his vision. I am glad his work now receives serious attention although paradoxically, like a true example of Heisenberg's principle, such work seems to function much better outside of the self-conscious, self-reflexive world of "art". Fuller is like Anna Lee's character Mac: he can only paint his epic masterpieces in the back room of a sleazy bar.

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