A wealthy matriarch is kidnapped by a gang of three. She is insulted by the amount of money they propose to demand as ransom, and a strange interchange of roles takes place between captors ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tôru Kazama ...
Hiroshi Nishikawa ...
Katsuyasu Uchida ...
Shigeru Kôyama ...
Kunijiro Yanagawa, 1st son
Kumi Mizuno ...
Kanako Yanagawa, 1st daughter
Ittoku Kishibe ...
Daisaku Yanagawa, 2nd son
Kôen Okumura ...
Anzai, the Chauffeur
Hideyo Amamoto ...
Kushida, the Butler
Reiko Matsunaga ...
Kimi, the Chambermaid
Nami Tamura ...
Eiko Yanagawa, 2nd daughter
Mami Okamoto ...
Shôji Ôki ...
Police Officer
Ren Yamamoto ...
Police Officer
Masato Nagamori
Tatsuhiko Tomoi


A wealthy matriarch is kidnapped by a gang of three. She is insulted by the amount of money they propose to demand as ransom, and a strange interchange of roles takes place between captors and captive, to the difficulty and eventual astonishment of the prefecture's Chief of Police. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

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rural setting | See All (1) »


Comedy | Crime





Release Date:

1 July 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rainbow Kids  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


'Lightning': If I hadn't met you, I'd never have thought of kidnapping you.
Mrs. Toshiko Yanagawa: Really? I see. Some climb a mountain because it's there. You KIDNAPPED me because I was there.
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User Reviews

If only kidnappings were like this in real life...!!
26 March 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Everybody loves a kidnapping-gone-nuts. 100 years ago, O'Henry wrote the famous "Ransom of Red Chief", and since then we've had a zillion permutations of the story. The recipe is simple; take a bunch of kooky amateur crooks, have them kidnap a "victim" who is 100 times smarter than them, then sit back and watch the fun.

RAINBOW KIDS takes this formula and delivers a wild ride with a lot of intelligence. The setup is simple: 3 penny-ante hoods decide to kidnap the 82-year-old matriarch of one of the wealthiest families in Japan. When the woman learns that her captors are only asking for a paltry 50 million yen (a little over $300,000), she is terribly insulted. From there, things get crazy.

The plot is really cute with a lot of interesting twists, funny situations and even some good suspense. But the reason why I loved this film wasn't just the plot. This is a very "Japanese" story with themes of honor, loyalty, selflessness and enlightenment. If it were set in Los Angeles, USA it would never fly. Instead, set in the gorgeous mountains of southern Japan, it takes on almost a tranquil & spiritual vibe. The scenery alone is worth the price of admission, adding magnificence when needed. By the end of the film when you learn why certain things happened the way they did, you realize how the land played an important role.

I wouldn't call this a madcap comedy nor would I call it a crime drama. Perhaps it's best described by one of the characters who calls it a "fairytale". It can become confusing at times, especially if you're struggling to keep up with the subtitles, and the latter half requires a bit of math & business sense to fully understand what's going on. But the film does a great job of explaining things with a wonderful epilogue which ends the picture on a perfect note.

I definitely recommend this film and rank it among my favourite Japanese comedies. If you liked "Kikujiro" and "University of Laughs" you'll love "Rainbow Kids" (and conversely, if you like RK, you'll love Kiku & UofL). Don't pass up the opportunity to see any of these!

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