Japanese sixties comedy featuring a cunning female jewel thief named Black Lizard who tries to kidnap Sanaye, a wealthy jeweler's beautiful daughter as part of a plot to steal the jeweler's... See full summary »



(novel), (stage adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Akihiro Miwa ...
Black Lizard (as Akihiro Maruyama)
Isao Kimura ...
Detective Akechi
Kikko Matsuoka ...
Jun Usami ...
Shobei Iwasa (as Junya Usami)
Yûsuke Kawazu ...
Junichi Amamiya
Kô Nishimura ...
Private Detective Keiji Matoba
Toshiko Kobayashi ...
Sônosuke Oda ...
Kinji Hattori ...
Kyôichi Satô ...
Jun Kato ...
Ryuji Funakoshi ...
Mitsuko Takara ...
Show Dancer
Yukio Mishima ...
Human statue


Japanese sixties comedy featuring a cunning female jewel thief named Black Lizard who tries to kidnap Sanaye, a wealthy jeweler's beautiful daughter as part of a plot to steal the jeweler's expensive "Star of Egypt" diamond. To thwart the planned kidnapping, the jeweler hires Japan's number one detective, the brilliant Akechi. This sets off a dual between Black Lizard and Akechi as each tries to outwit the other. In the process, the two adversaries develop a mutual respect and affection for each other. Despite Akechi's efforts, Black Lizard and her crew are able to kidnap Sanaye and gain possession of the "Star of Egypt". Black Lizard takes Sanaye to her secret lair on a remote island which is populated by an eerie collection of naked human dolls. There Black Lizard plans to preserve Sanaye's beauty forever by turning her into one of her dolls. As Sanaye's doom quickly approaches, it is up to Akechi to save the day. Written by <frye@siservices.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

July 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Lizard  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Black Rose (1969) See more »


Two-part Invention No.4 in D Minor BWV.775
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

Bizarre Japanese thriller
22 July 2008 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

This obscure Japanese thriller would seem to have a very good reputation among cult fans; and while I can see the appeal of the film, I do have to say that I'm surprised by all the praise it gets as aside from the odd memorable moment; the film is a mostly flawed piece. Black Lizard is directed by Kinji Fukasaku; the director who would go on to direct the seminal masterpiece Battle Royale in 2000. The film is basically a heist movie; although it often gets labelled as a comedy and that is mainly down to the thick layer of absurd comedy emanating from the central villain; although anyone going into this film expecting to laugh will be disappointed. The central character is named 'Black Lizard' - a thief with a penchant for jewels. She sets her sights on a diamond named "The Star of Egypt" and in order to get to it, kidnaps the owner's daughter and asks for the jewel in ransom. The detective on the case is named Akechi; and after a card game together, the two develop a mutual respect; and Black Lizard falls in love with the detective.

The most bizarre thing about this film is the casting of transvestite Akihiro Miwa in the lead role. Initially, I was sure that the central character was a transvestite; but as the film went on, it seemed to suggest more that the character is actually a woman, although there are some suggestions that maybe that isn't the case. The actor's performance would have been quite good if the character was meant to be a man in fact; but he really doesn't convince as a woman, and while I appreciate the idea of putting him in the lead role; I don't think it was a very good one. The plot has rather a lot to it and moves very quickly considering the running time of the film which is definitely to it's credit; although at times it does move a bit too quickly and the film does not have time to really put forward all of it's ideas. This is mainly at the expense of the characters; as we are not made to care about anyone in the film, which leaves the whole thing feeling a bit cold. There's some good style on display, however, and that's one of the main positives. Overall, this film might be of interest to some but I wasn't very impressed with it!

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