IMDb > Pigs and Battleships (1961)

Pigs and Battleships (1961) More at IMDbPro »Buta to gunkan (original title)

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Release Date:
13 September 1963 (USA) See more »
A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart. | Full synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Pigs and Battleships (1961) See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order)
Hiroyuki Nagato ... Kinta
Jitsuko Yoshimura ... Haruko
Masao Mishima ... Himori
Tetsurô Tanba ... Slasher Tetsuji
Shirô Ôsaka ... Hoshino
Takeshi Katô ... Ohachi
Shôichi Ozawa ... Gunji, Gangster in check shirt
Yôko Minamida ... Katsuyo
Hideo Sato ... Kikuo
Eijirô Tôno ... Kan'ichi
Akira Yamauchi ... Sakiyama
Sanae Nakahara ... Hiromi
Kin Sugai ... Haruko's mother
Bumon Kahara ... Harukoma
Tomio Aoki ... Kyuro
Kô Nishimura ... Yajima
Kotoe Hatsui ... Wife, Tsune
Toshio Takahara ... Dr. Miyaguchi
Hyosuke Kobe ... George
Takeo Yazu ... Masuyama
Taiji Tonoyama ... Chen
Hideo Kidokoro ... King
Toyoko Takechi ... Old lady wearing apron
Nobuo Kawakami ... Policeman in lawless area
Shuntarô Tamamura ... Chikko policeman
Hitomi Nakagawa ... Electric company factory worker
Ayako Fukuda ... Patient
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Blooming
Robert Duncan
Hyôe Enoki
Ayako Kanda
Mitzi Mori
Tooru Moriya
Sanzô Nakagawa
Tomoko Naraoka
Takashi Nomura (as Takashi Sudo)
Seijirô Takano
Kôji Yashiro

Directed by
Shôhei Imamura 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hisashi Yamanouchi  (as Hisa Yamauchi)
Gisashi Yamauchi 
Kazu Ôtsuka  novel by

Produced by
Kano Ôtsuka .... producer
Original Music by
Toshirô Mayuzumi 
Cinematography by
Shinsaku Himeda 
Film Editing by
Mutsuo Tanji 
Art Direction by
Kimihiko Nakamura 
Production Management
Yukiharu Moriyama .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kirirô Urayama .... assistant director
Sound Department
Fumio Hashimoto .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Yasuo Iwaki .... gaffer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Buta to gunkan" - Japan (original title)
"Hogs and Warships" - International (English title)
"The Flesh Is Hot" - USA
See more »
108 min | USA:66 min (re-issue) | USA:77 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Filming Locations:

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Pigs and Battleships (1961), 30 March 2015
Author: mevmijaumau from Croatia

It's no wonder why Shohei Imamura's films are often considered a contrast to his mentor Yasujiro Ozu's films. Ozu's films are static, simple, about the polite middle class families with fairly uneventful lives. Imamura, on the other hand, was more like an amateur anthropologist seeking beauty or poking fun at a chaotic society getting caught up in corruption, nationalism, swindles of all kinds and its international relations.

Pigs and Battleships is a turning point in Imamura's career - from now on, his films all have that characteristic style of his. Fast pace and constant motion, characters living on the boundaries of society, a satirical view on the society itself, and many interesting camera techniques which make the movie feel alive and pulsing, unlike in traditional Japanese cinema up to that point.

In this movie, Imamura satirizes everyone and everything, from American soldiers, who are portrayed as dumb pleasure-seekers at the cost of everything, to Japanese (anti)nationalists, yakuzas and other opportunistic criminals, to the scheming Chinese gangsters who then in turn get swindled by a Hawaiian-Japanese fellow. This entire multi- cultural chaotic mess cannot be expressed more beautifully, and gives birth to one of the stranger insults I've heard in a movie ("International whore!").

Imamura's film, like always, doesn't follow a strict plot line, but instead focuses on as many characters as you can shove into the film's runtime. From the moral dilemmas of the protagonist's girlfriend, who longs for a better life in Kawasaki to the yakuza boss succumbing to illness. There is so much to follow and makes the movie constantly fresh. In a lesser filmmaker's hands, this kind of free-for-all, gambit pileup plot setup would be annoying and unfollowable, but Imamura's pacing salvages the entire story and holds it together, climaxing in the best scene I've ever seen that contains pigs and machine guns.

Another great thing about the film is how it's both comical and tragical in turns, but never does anything feel forced. During tragic scenes, there's never a cheap, tear-jerking musical accompaniment and pathetic lines of dialogue, same as how the funny scenes don't ever feel intrusive, they just effortlessly find their way into the movie's fabric. Every quality I've mentioned above is pretty much why Imamura is one of the greatest New Wave directors.

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