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Postman Blues (1997)
"Posutoman burusu" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama | Action  -  16 August 1997 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,250 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 13 critic

A postman is mistaken for a dangerous criminal by the police.


(as Sabu)


(story), (screenplay)
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Title: Postman Blues (1997)

Postman Blues (1997) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Credited cast:
Shin'ichi Tsutsumi ...
Ryuichi Sawaki
Keisuke Horibe ...
Ren Ohsugi ...
Kyôko Tôyama ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sei Hiraizumi
Yôzaburô Itô
Konta ...
(as Atsushi Kondo-Konta)
Akaji Maro
Hiroshi Shimizu ...
Ikko Suzuki ...
Tomorowo Taguchi ...
Ryoko Takizawa
Hiroyuki Tanaka ...
Yôji Tanaka
Susumu Terajima ...
Detective Maeda


Sawaki is a postman who's not quite thrilled about his boring way of life. But his life is about to change when he delivers mail to his old schoolmate Noguchi, who's now a member of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia, and just finished cutting his little finger off. Sawaki stays only for a short time and Noguchi manages to smuggle a package full of drugs into Sawakis bag. And, like that's not enough, accidentally his separated finger falls into Sawakis bag too. Because Noguchi has been spied out for quite a while by the police, they think that Sawaki has something to do with his criminal schemings and decide to stick onto his feet. When Sawaki bonds with the fatally ill hit man Joe, it's clear for the police what he must be: A schizophrenic-paranoid, perverse drug dealer, murderer and even terrorist sent from the Yakuza! Written by ToDumbToPickAUsername

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Action | Comedy


See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

16 August 1997 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Posutoman burusu  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Woman In The Street: [stopping Sawaki]
[subtitled from Japanese]
Woman In The Street: Mr. Postman, could you send this out?
[Sawaki takes the envelope and puts in the mailbox right next to him]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The entirety of the beginning and end credits are in Japanese, with three exceptions: "A Suplex Inc. Production" and "A Sabu Film" during the opening credits and "Directed by Sabu" during the end credits. See more »


References Chungking Express (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Not the best Sabu but still worth seeing
29 January 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

This film was Sabu's second, and shows many of this auteur's characteristic hallmarks: a concern with drastically ironic coincidences and misunderstandings, effective staging and a striking disregard for naturalism being chief amongst them. It was also the first time that the director used the excellent actor Shinichi Tsutsumi as his leading man. The actor was to reappear very effectively in Monday, Drive, and Unlucky Monday, his stoic face a perfect foil to the director-screenwriter's often bleak view of fate and predations of satirised Yakuza. Tsitsumi's keatonesque presence, and his various misfortunes, increasingly provide the centerpieces to Sabu's films. The weakness of Postman's Blues, to some extent, can be traced back to the fact that the dirctor has not yet found way to situate his hero best at the heart of an ironic narrative.

Most of the present film's confusions take place outside of the hero's ken. Until the end, he remains unaware and is largely unaffected by the game fate is playing with his life. It creates a dissipation of effect, and despite a number of marvellous scenes, it is noticable that the most effective of them (the initial passing of the severed finger into his mailbag, his delivery of the same to the Yakuza boss; some hospital scenes and so on) directly involve Ryuichi. Away from him, the film seems to have no heart: the humour occasionally seems forced, as in the case of the Olympic cyclist sequence, and events loses focus. Sabu has not made this mistake again, and in succeeding features his leading man is conscious of the events being set in motion – an awareness adding immensely to the ironic pathos of his adventures.

For a the best introduction to the crazy world of Sabu, which often reminds one of Jacques Tati writing a Fritz Lang movie, the interested viewer should seek out the marvellous Monday. Having said that, existing admirers of the director – who surely deserves a wider reputation than he has – should see this, as Sabu's misfires are twice as interesting as most other director's successes.

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