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Violence at Noon (1966)

Hakuchû no tôrima (original title)
Two young women must come to terms with the fact that a man they're deeply linked to is a murdering rapist.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Hideo Kanze ...
Inagaki, husband of the raped woman
Hideko Kawaguchi ...
Matsuko's mother
Saeda Kawaguchi ...
Shino Shinozaki
Narumi Kayashima ...
Jinbo, teacher
Teruko Kishi ...
Shino's grandmother
Hôsei Komatsu ...
Shino's father
Akiko Koyama ...
Matsuko Koura, wife of Eisuke, teacher
Kei Satô ...
Eisuke Oyamada
Ryôko Takahara ...
Raped woman
Taiji Tonoyama ...
School director
Rokkô Toura ...
Genji Hyuga
Fumio Watanabe ...
Inspector Haraguchi
Sen Yano ...
Mayor
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Storyline

Hakuchu no Torima" is the portrayal of a violent rapist as seen through the recollections of his wife and one of his victims. As the film starts, Eisuke (Kei Sato) encounters Shino (Saeda Kawaguchi), who works as a maid in a house. She is a former coworker from a failed collective farm, whose life he once saved -- only to rape her. Soon, Eisuke's criminal pattern of rapes and murders emerges as he goes on assaulting women (Shino being the witness of one of them, as Eisuke tries to violate her employer). When cooperating with the police on making a description of the rapist, Shino withholds her crucial knowledge of his identity. She prefers writing letters to Eisuke's dutiful wife, Matsuko, a schoolteacher (Akiko Koyama -- Mrs Oshima), in order to expose his true nature and perhaps induce her into turning Eisuke over to the police. Written by miclea daniel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

15 July 1966 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Violence at Noon  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is made up of 1,508 takes. The average shot length is 4.5 seconds. See more »

Connections

References Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two women deeply linked to Kei Satô must come to grips with his being a serial rapist
9 December 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Violence at Noon" (1966) is an excellent film. I went into it expecting a Japanese noir, more or less, because it's done in black and white and tells a story revolving around a criminal who is a rapist and murderer. Indeed, it turned out to be noir in its story line, but really so far beyond noir in the depth of its exploration and cinematic images that the label doesn't capture its essence or the experience of viewing it. One evening, I watched about 20-30 minutes before retiring. I knew I was not sensing the whole story properly. The next evening, I started from the beginning again and watched it all the way through. This re-start proved to be fortunate. I then had no problem at all following the story.

There are three main characters and a fourth whose role is also significant. Kei Satô plays the rapist Eisuke. He is the violent one who attacks at noon. His contribution to the film is huge. Eisuke knows who he is and what he is. He's fully aware of his own evil and goes on with it. The existence of such evil and lack of desire to control it are presented amorally as givens. The film's opening has him locating servant Shino (Saeda Kawaguchi) and almost killing her but instead killing her mistress (off screen). Later, we learn that he saved Shino's life from an attempted double suicide joint with Gengi (Rokkô Toura) who did die. After saving her, he raped her unconscious body. Shino doesn't tell the police who Eisuke is. Instead, she tells his wife Matsuko (Akiko Koyama) that her husband is the much sought after rapist. The two women must come to grips with each other and Eisuke in their own ways.

Under Oshima's direction, the images and editing are masterly, innovative, distinctive and engaging, adding a great deal to the story and reinforcing its themes with cinematic ideas.


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