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Violence at Noon (1966)
"Hakuchû no tôrima" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  15 July 1966 (Japan)
7.2
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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 ... See full summary »

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Title: Violence at Noon (1966)

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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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Release Date:

15 July 1966 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Violence at Noon  »

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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

 
In the realm of a rapist
31 July 2009 | by (France) – See all my reviews

First of all, let me correct a wrong statement which you can find in one of the two other reviews on this film: no, Oshima never attended a film school in France, although he was clearly influenced by the French New Wave and eventually shot a film in Paris in the 1980s ("Max my Love"). Now, to see some influence from Resnais' "Marienbad" and "Muriel" in this film is quite right: the lightning-paced editing, jump cuts, elliptical narrative and numerous flashbacks turn this work into a rather challenging one for the viewer, while it presents an interesting reflection on haunted memory (another common point with Resnais).

No, as you may guess, this is not a "sit back and relax" film. To put things in a nutshell, "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 (played by a great 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. As the police investigation develops, Shino insinuates herself into the investigative process by following Inspector Haraguchi (Fumio Watanabe) as he pursues clues in an attempt to understand Eisuke's destructive impulses. Haraguchi is led to believe that Shino, as Eisuke's first victim, is the underlying cause for his violence. Flashbacks tell us about the complex circumstances behind Eisuke's rescue of Shino at the collective farm, revealing the dual image of Eisuke as both criminal and savior in the eyes of Shino, and explaining the inextricable bond between the criminal and his victim. Strangely enough, Shino and Matsuko will eventually unite their efforts to protect Eisuke from capture... or won't they?

Throughout the whole film, Oshima is more preoccupied by the relationship developing between Shino and Matsuko than by the rapist. The despair of both women is linked to that of Eisuke himself and to the failure of the socialist movement in postwar Japan (symbolized by the collapse of the collective farm, after which the true believers either committed suicide or turned to primitively destructive ways). Based on a true story (when Japan was terrorized by a man who raped and killed up to 30 women in 1957-58), shot in a stunning black and white (which makes this film look like no other film from Oshima), "Hakuchu no Torima" explores the themes of guilt and self-destruction, and shows how crime reflects the pathology of the society in which the criminal lives. A difficult yet beautiful and riveting film, for experienced viewers.


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