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Pale Flower (1964)

Kawaita hana (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Thriller | 1 March 1964 (Japan)
A gangster gets released from prison and has to cope with the recent shifts of power between the gangs, while taking care of a thrill-seeking young woman, who got in bad company while gambling.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryô Ikebe ...
Muraki
Mariko Kaga ...
Saeko
Takashi Fujiki ...
Yoh
Naoki Sugiura ...
Aikawa
Shin'ichirô Mikami ...
Reiji
Isao Sasaki ...
Jiro
Kôji Nakahara ...
Tamaki (as Koji Nakahara)
Chisako Hara ...
Yakuza's Lover
Seiji Miyaguchi ...
Gang leader
Eijirô Tôno ...
Gang Leader
Mikizo Hirata ...
Mizuguchi
Reizaburô Yamamoto
Kyû Sazanka ...
Imai
Hideo Kidokoro
Akio Tanaka ...
Patron
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Storyline

Muraki, a hardboiled Yakuza gangster, has just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Revisiting his old gambling haunts, he meets Saeko, a striking young upper-class woman who is out seeking thrills, and whose presence adds spice to the staid masculine underworld rituals. Muraki becomes her mentor while simultaneously coping with the shifts of power that have affected the gangs while he was interred. When he notices a rogue, drug-addicted young punk hanging around the gambling dens, he realizes that Saeko's insatiable lust for intense pleasures may be leading her to self-destruction. Written by goblinhairedguy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | yakuza | neo noir | revenge | rain | See All (17) »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 1964 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Fiore secco  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The release of this film, originally scheduled for 1963, was held up for nearly a year. Explanations for the delay vary. The movie's co-scenarist, Masaru Baba, apparently complained to the studio, Shochiku, that director Masahiro Shinoda had emphasized visual style at the expense of his more detailed script. Another explanation of the delay is that Japanese authorities were made uncomfortable by the movie's scenes of high-stakes (and illegal) gambling using "flower cards," which were filmed in great detail and in a way that they felt glorified this activity. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thoughtful hardboiled triumph
8 April 2004 | by (Montreal) – See all my reviews

Film devotees have long realized that the "new wave" art cinema of Japan in the 60's was as innovative and profound as the revolutionary American and European product of the era. What is now becoming clear to fans in the West inured to Godzilla and Starman is that the little-seen Japanese genre pictures of the time were in many cases just as startling and artistic. "Pale Flower" is a case in point. It has the breathtaking luminous-white on inky-black lighting, the fragmented framing, and massive potential energy threatening to explode from the edges of the screen that so characterize the contemporaneous films of Seijun Suzuki (of "Branded to Kill" fame). But instead of that director's post-modern excesses, this film takes a somber, meditative tack, not unlike Beat Takeshi's recent "Sonatine", presenting a carefully-wrought, moody character study amid the expected thrills. The musical score, when it surfaces, is suitably avant-garde, and the frame is filled with rich detail and well-defined characters, like the crime boss obsessed with his dental health. A must-see for the adventurous film buff.


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