In the Edo period, a nameless ronin accepts an assignment to go to a mountain pass and wait. Near the pass he stops at an inn where a collection of characters gather, including a gang set ... See full summary »
During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.
1933. 20 years before, Katsuzo was in love with a geisha who gave him a daughter. They tried to run away together but they were caught and the woman was killed under his eyes. Now he is a ... See full summary »
A talented but troubled Edo Period swordsman, Kanemi Sanzawmon. Three years earlier, Kanemi killed a woman, Renko, the corrupt mistress of the powerful daimyo Tabu Ukyou. Unexpectedly, ... See full summary »
After viewing a heist (in negative black-and-white) during the opening credits, we find our protagonist, Oida -- Tatsuya Nakadai, excellent as usual -- in prison. Sent there for killing two people in an automobile accident (the result of a split-second lapse in attention), he's now to be released.
Having lost everything, he has nowhere and nobody to turn to upon his release, so Oida uncomfortably enters into an agreement with his cell mate: in exchange for a half-share of 30,000,000 yen, he is to assassinate three strangers given to him on a list. Unknown to him, drug dealers, seeking to get back money stolen in the heist years earlier, are after the same three men. Upon meeting his first potential victim, Oida immediately regrets his decision, but, needless to say, the body count starts climbing, and he's drawn irreversibly into the vortex. Complicating matters, Oida is "adopted" as a father-figure by the orphan of the first victim, and then encounters the widow of the man he killed years earlier, backstage in a seedy club.
Oida decides he must now try to alert the people on his list of their impending danger, and find out why they are being targeted in the first place.
Complete with grotesque characters, questionable alliances, double-crosses, a chance of redemption, and fabulous black-and-white photography, "Cash Calls Hell" is pure noir, and is easily equal to Kurosawa's justly praised "The Bad Sleep Well" and "High and Low." While director Hideo Gosha obviously made some fine samurai movies during his career, I can't help thinking the world would be a richer place if he'd made more films like this overlooked gem. No fan of film noir, Hideo Gosha or Tatsuya Nakadai should miss "Cash Calls Hell."
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