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Ôsen chitai (1960)

A criminal drama told in a semi-documentary fashion. The murder of the chief official of Kobe city's Customs triggers an investigation of a prostitution ring called the 'Yellow Line' that sells Japanese women.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Teruo Yoshida ...
Toshio Mayama
Yôko Mihara ...
Emi Ozuki
Shigeru Amachi ...
The Gangster
Mako Sanjô ...
Typist Yumiko - Kidnapped Girl
Katsuko Wakasugi ...
Madam in Brothel
Reiko Seto ...
Prostitute in Casbah
Akiko Ono ...
Woman who Sells Foreign Cigarette
Yôichi Numata ...
The Chief Editor - Toshio's Boss
Akira Nakamura ...
Yoshihide Matsudaira - The Hypocrite (as Torahiko Nakamura)
Jun Ôtomo ...
Agawa - The Requester of Murder
Tatsuji Oki ...
Baku Mizuhara
Masayo Yoshida ...
Japanese Bar Madam
Kyôko Ôgimachi ...
The Woman in Basement
Michiyo Ichikawa


A criminal drama told in a semi-documentary fashion. The murder of the chief official of Kobe city's Customs triggers an investigation of a prostitution ring called the 'Yellow Line' that sells Japanese women.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

29 April 1960 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Iero-Rain  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


CHITAI series. #3 of 5 films. See more »

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User Reviews

Reporter and his girl friend become involved with a yellow slavery ring and a contract killer
20 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Osen Chitai" or "Yellow Line" refers to a yellow slavery ring in Kobe, the movie tells us. Teruo Yoshida has a lead role as a reporter who is investigating. Yoko Mihara plays Teruo's girl friend. While telephoning Teruo on her way to Kobe for a dancing job, she gets abducted by a contract killer who needs a cover. He has a major role. I've seen him in another movie or two but I don't know his name and cannot easily deduce it. He's a young man who has a code of only killing men who need killing according to their behavior. He's no psychopath. His character is fully developed through his interactions with Yoko, and he is the central figure in the story. Police play only a peripheral role.

The story leads into the narrow alleys and backways of Kobe, using realistic sets I believe. There are also a good many exteriors shot on location, usually with a more subdued lighting when at night, making the colors less vivid than the interiors. This is not a criticism; that night coloration adds to the film's realism and also dates it, which I find a positive. Technically, the film shows a high degree of proficiency. The sound is excellent. Direction and film editing are sharp and lively. The script orchestrates some interesting pathways for the characters.

In the Ichii films, there is humor and humanity, but it does not go into melodrama. The story never is told in a sentimental way or becomes sentimental. Things are not overdone. As a reviewer of "Fire Line" points out, there is more "sardonic irony". It is not difficult to identify with the main characters. The contract killer is treated as a whole person for whom we can feel compassion. The smaller parts, especially some of the female parts, come across with compassion. However, when the script calls for a woman to be greedy or conniving, there is no holding back in depicting it. The smaller male parts sometimes come across as more critical of the men, and sometimes it parodies them. Courage in the face of danger is shown too. In general, the Ichii films bring out a broad range of characters. The human side is prominent throughout, with attention being paid to do this through script and direction. Similarly, there is careful construction of staging in order to complement story and character.

In these Ichii noirs, I will tentatively suggest that there might be somewhat less building up of overt tension and suspense to dramatic high points than in American noirs. There is less use of overt plot points to do this. There is perhaps a greater degree of constant propulsion and suspense through action. I haven't seen the others in a while, however.

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