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Black Rain (1989) Poster

(1989)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (3)
Yûsaku Matsuda's last film role. Matsuda knew he had bladder cancer and that his condition would be aggravated by acting in the movie. He elected to do so anyway, unbeknownst to director Ridley Scott, reportedly saying, "This way, I will live forever." He died on 9 November 1989, less than seven weeks after the film's American premiere. The film is dedicated to his memory.
When the crew ran even a few minutes over their allotted filming time at any given location in Japan, not only were they told to leave, a man physically walked in front of the camera and forbade them from continuing filming.
The first collaboration between composer Hans Zimmer and director Ridley Scott. Zimmer would go on to score a number of Scott's movies such as Hannibal (2001), Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), Thelma & Louise (1991) and Matchstick Men (2003).
The winery where the final battle takes place is not in Japan, but in Napa County, California. The filmmaker's visa had run out, so final filming was shifted to the United States.
In Japanese cinema, Ken Takakura was well known from regularly playing Yakuza gangsters whilst Yûsaku Matsuda was well known from regularly playing detectives. In Black Rain (1989) though, Takakura plays a cop and Matsuda plays a Yakuza.
Originally Paul Verhoeven signed on to direct the film.
Ridley Scott's first cut of the film was 2 hours and 40 minutes long.
Jan de Bont replaced Howard Atherton as Director of Photography. Atherton shot most of the film, but he got so frustrated in Japan that he resigned. de Bont was then brought in to finish the rest of the film and received official credit; Atherton is credited for "Additional Photography."
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The exterior of Sugai's house was the Ennis-Brown House, which is situated at 2655 Glendower Avenue, Los Feliz in Los Angeles, California. Director Ridley Scott had previously used the dwelling for Deckard's apartment complex in Blade Runner (1982).
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The Japanese character seen at the end of the film reads "kan," which unsurprisingly translates as "the end," or more roughly, "completed."
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Jackie Chan turned down the role of Sato, as he felt audiences didn't want to see him play a "bad" character.
"Black Rain", according to Wikipedia, refers to "nuclear fallout, known as black rain by survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" in Japan, which Sugai (Tomisaburô Wakayama) mentions in one of the last scenes. The phrase's use here was figurative and referential whereas its use in the same-title film Black Rain (1989), also from 1989, was literal, its use literally dealing with nuclear fallout.
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According to the audio-commentary on the dvd for Paul Schrader's Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), Ridley Scott vowed never to shoot in Japan again due to high cost and excessive bureaucratic wrangling that was incurred during location filming there.
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The film is dedicated to Japanese actor 'Yusaku Matsuda', who plays Sato. He died of bladder cancer just weeks before the film's premiere.
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First time that Michael Douglas played a cop / detective on the big-screen. During the 1970s, Douglas had been well known for playing Inspector Steve Keller in the TV series The Streets of San Francisco (1972).
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This 1989 picture features veteran Japanese actor Tomisaburô Wakayama who portrayed Sugai. The movie was one of his final films, Wakayama passing away just a few years later in 1992.
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At the time the film was made, Ken Takakura was reportedly Japan's biggest box-office star.
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Often considered the Ridley Scott film most comparable to one of his late brother Tony Scott's pictures. Tony has been called one of the key pioneers of the contemporary Hollywood stylistic action epic.
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Charlie Vincent (Andy Garcia) talks about what it would be like to be promoted to Internal Affairs at one point. Garcia went on to star as an IA officer in Mike Figgis' Internal Affairs (1990).
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During the plane flight from New York to Osaka, Nick and Charlie have a brief discussion about a fellow cop named "Ronan" who apparently took money from a drug bust. In Japan, a "Ronin" is traditionally a renegade, master-less samurai, often one who is viewed with derision by samurai of better standing.
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One of two 1989 movies entitled "Black Rain". A film about the aftermath of Hiroshima's atomic bombing by Shôhei Imamura was released the same year with a Japanese title Black Rain (1989) which translates to "Black Rain". The two films are, of course, totally unrelated.
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"Black Rain" is also an alternate title of the 1970s Peter Weir Australian film The Last Wave (1977), which was renamed "Black Rain" for distribution in the USA. Of course, the two films have nothing in common.
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The "Osaka police office" is in fact the "Office of prevention of natural disasters", next door to the Osaka police headquarters.
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The movie was filmed during October, November and December 1988 and January, February and March 1989.
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Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto wrote and performed the song "Laserman" for the soundtrack.
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The "Yakuza" are the Japanese mafia. This is one of first American and Hollywood feature films to feature them, others being Armed Response (1986), The Challenge (1982) and The Yakuza (1974). In Japanese cinema, there is an entire genre of "Yakuza Film" which are very popular with audiences.
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Michael Douglas' detective character has the same first name ("Nick") as his character in Basic Instinct (1992) in which Douglas also portrays a cop. Douglas's character in Black Rain (1989) is Detective Nick Conklin whilst in Basic Instinct (1992) it is detective Nick Curran.
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The film was selected to screen at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 1989.
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First of two Ridley Scott movies with the word "black" in the title. The second would be Black Hawk Down (2001) about twelve years later.
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The film's Black Rain (1989) title had the same "B.R." initials as Ridley Scott's earlier classic Blade Runner (1982).
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Second and final of two consecutive thriller movies directed by Ridley Scott. The first film had been 1987's Someone to Watch Over Me (1987).
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The movie was nominated for Academy Awards in Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing, but failed to win in either category.
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Average shot length and median shot length is ~3.5 seconds.
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The sixth feature film directed by Ridley Scott.
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Star Billing: Michael Douglas (1st), Andy Garcia (2nd), Ken Takakura (3rd) and Kate Capshaw (4th).
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According to 'Rating the Movies', "details of plot and character [were] conveyed through [the film's] setting and lighting".
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The movie Rain Man was released in December of 1988; Black Rain was released in September of 1989. They were not released in the same year.
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One of two 1989 movies starring Michael Douglas. The other film was The War of the Roses (1989). Both pictures were "black" i.e. this movie was called Black Rain (1989) whilst the other film was a "black comedy".
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

At the end of the movie Nick apprehends Sato, although there is a moment when he is torn between arresting and killing him. Ridley Scott also shot an alternative ending where Nick follows through and impales Sato on the spike.
The scene where Charlie (Andy Garcia) sings on stage at the night-club with Masahiro (Ken Takakura) was not in the script. Garcia conceived the scene to add extra emotional involvement to his character, before he is brutally murdered in the following scene.
In this film and Basic instinct, Michael Douglas's characters both cops named Nick have partners who get killed. One named Charlie played Andy Garcia gets his head chopped off in the parking garage, the other named Gus played george Dzuneda gets stabbed in the neck in the elevator with an ice pick.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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