Muraki, a hardboiled Yakuza gangster, has just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Revisiting his old gambling haunts, he meets Saeko, a striking young ... See full summary »
Shinpachi, a poor samurai with no prospects, gets in an argument with Magodayu, a high-ranking officer, resulting in an illegal duel and Magodayu's death. To save face for both familes, ... See full summary »
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
This was the first film I had seen by Nomura and constituted a major disappointment. Nomura appears to belong to the static variety of Japanese directors, preferring lingering and beautiful black and white shots over the bravura editing of contemporaries such as Seijun Suzuki or early Kurosawa. This approach really does not fit the material which is a stultifyingly dull and procedural mystery story that at no point rises above the generic, or generates any palpable tension or danger.
A point of comparison would be Rebecca by Hitchcock, mostly because of its focus on coastal scenery and echoes of the past affecting a hurried marriage. But this movie lacks any of the sexual or psychological aspects that make Rebecca so interesting. Some of the dialogue and minor performances are appalling. At one point a coastguard turns to a distraught bereaved wife and advises, straightfaced, "Why don't you walk to Noto cliff, It is very beautiful and a common spot to commit suicide." How did that ever get beyond the editing suite? Even the final exposition is ridiculously forced and overlong that I was tempted to fast forward to the end of the ending. One to miss
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