Following the death of the second Tokugawa shogun, it is revealed that he was poisoned by retainers of his son Iemitsu in hopes of gaining him the shogunate despite the stammer and ... See full summary »
In Okayama in the mid-1930s, Kiroku attends high school and boards with a Catholic family whose daughter, Michiko, captures his heart. He must, however, hide his ardor and other aspects of ... See full summary »
While her husband is in prison doing time, Tamaki, the wife of a yakuza capo, runs her spouse's gang with an iron hand. Meanwhile, Makoto, her younger sister, marries a member of a rival ... See full summary »
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 »
Based on the "2.26 Incident", an attempted coup d'état in Japan 1936, launched by radical ultra-nationalist parts of the military. Several leading politicians were killed and the center of ... 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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