7.1/10
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2 user 3 critic

Ôkami to buta to ningen (1964)

A lonely gangster tries recruiting men to plunder a respected and powerful gang.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jirô, second brother
Rentarô Mikuni ...
Ichirô, eldest brother
Kin'ya Kitaôji ...
Sabu, the third brother
Shinjirô Ebara
Renji Ishibashi
Hideo Murota
Sanae Nakahara
Jirô Okazaki ...
Takeji
Hiroko Shima ...
Mako
Shunji Kasuga ...
Nishimura
Shôken Sawa ...
Iwasaki
Seiichi Shisui ...
Akira
Seiji Echizenya ...
Isao
Masa Suganuma ...
Noda
Akira Katayama ...
Iwasaki's assistant
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Storyline

Sabu and his pals hold a pauper's funeral for Sabu's mother. His brother Jiro arrives home, fresh out of jail, and Sabu pointedly states that Jiro is not invited. Jiro meanwhile is planning a big job - steal 40 million in cash and drugs, and he invites Sabu and gang to act as decoys, for 50,000 each. The sting is a success, but the double-crossing starts almost immediately. Sabu discovers how little of the take they were promised and hides the stash. Jiro and his slimy partner pressure the kids to fess up. Meanwhile, their respectable elder brother Ichiro is being leaned on by the town's big boss, whose money it was. Written by sharptongue

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Taglines:

Do we stake our lives ?

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

26 August 1964 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Wolves, Pigs and People  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Aftermath of a robbery from a yakuza clan engineered by Ken Takakura
8 October 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Ôkami to buta to ningen" (1964) aka "Wolves, Pigs and Men" I rate this 8/10. It's a finely written, directed and photographed black and white Japanese crime noir (no police present at any time). It has depth and always interesting shifts in loyalty, perception, relationships and trust. It's really a tremendous show. The visuals of the black and white Japanese noirs of this era in Cinemascope or its Japanese equivalent are typically exceptionally beautiful and well-staged. This movie is no exception.

The "yakuza" label for such noirs means that somewhere in it or usually at its heart are crime families, gangs or clans. In this case, "Jirou" (Ken Takakura) partners with "Mizohara" (Shinjirô Ehara) to rob the Iwasaki group. Jirou wants to escape to Hong Kong after the robbery with his woman "Kyouko" (Sanae Nakahara). Her cool rationality throughout any difficulties contrasts strongly with the extremely emotional men. Neither man trusts the other; Mizohara is psychopathic. This presents a constant source of tension.

Jirou's older brother "Ichirô" (Rentarô Mikuni) is a member of the Iwasaki group who was supposed to have gotten Takakura to leave town after his release from jail. The exciting robbery at a crowded terminal uses many tilted angles and little or no dialog. Takakura has hired his younger brother "Sabu" (Kinya Kitaoji) and his gang of young delinquents to start a fight as a diversion. Sabu makes off with the loot and hides it. The story develops at length a series of fascinating conflicts, including that between Sabu and Jirou, who had left Sabu behind in their pigsty slum to take care of their mother. In another conflict, Sabu and his gang are strongly bonded while Jirou and Mizohara attempt to learn the loot's whereabouts. Both younger brothers are in conflict with Ichirô. And the yakuza clan is on their trail. There is another layer of conflict which is between the lowly residents of the ramshackle area where Sabu and his gang live and the well-dressed intruders with their big cars and guns.


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