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Rusty Knife More at IMDbPro »Sabita naifu (original title)

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fine Japanese noir

7/10
Author: samhill5215 from United States
15 September 2009

There's much to like about this film for noir enthusiasts. Moody characters, flawed protagonists, a great soundtrack, loose women, expert use of shadows to underline the plot, and much, much more. This is one that'll keep you riveted to the end. That said, there's some cheesy stuff as well. In particular plot elements that sometimes pop up rather conveniently take away from an otherwise very neat movie. The dialog can be stiff although some of that may be a result of the translation from the Japanese. Some sound effects, or rather their absence left me wondering. For example in the chase scene it looked as if the trucks were smashing each other yet there was no sound of the crash, just of the racing engines. In fight scenes the punches weren't always accompanied by the sound of a punch, or you could hear one but see no punch. Finally the choreography of the fight scenes left much to be desired. People flew around without being touched and punches were thrown that obviously did not connect. The studio should have taken lessons from Hollywood about staging fights. But all in all, a fine movie that also reunites two fine actors, Yujiro Ishihara and Mie Kitahara, who two years earlier starred in "Crazed Fruit".

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A nice little Japanese noir film

7/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
14 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I recently have watched several early Japenese film noir projects by director Toshio Masudaand have enjoyed them very much. While I doubt if they'd be considered classics, they are tough little films that pack a lot of entertainment into them. "Sabita Naifu" ("Rusty Knife") is another one of his excellent noir films.--and the first film he directed.

The story is set in a relatively new town where the old style Japanese mobsters have taken hold. The problem is that repeatedly witnesses to various mob crimes have refuse to testify--either because of fear of retribution or because of payoffs. Early in the film, the District Attorney thought he had a lead on some witnesses but they are found by the mob first and killed. The only lead the DA now has is a man named Tachibana--who just got out of prison for killing a man who apparently raped his girlfriend (and the girlfriend committed suicide following this assault). Tachibana at first just wants to be left alone--he wants to reform and lead a normal life now. But, when he learns that the man he killed was NOT the only one who raped his girlfriend (it was, he just learned, a gang rape--and the man he killed was NOT the ringleader), he decides to seek justice. To complicated matters is a new friendship he's formed with a nice young lady--and how this actually is related to the rape and suicide is something you'll need to see for yourself.

The acting and directing were all very good--direct, brutal and exciting to watch. While I have seen better Japanese noir, it is still very, very good noir and well worth seeing if you like crime films.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great story

9/10
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
7 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The best of the three Nikkatsu Noir films I've seen so far in the new Eclipse box set. Yujiro Ishihara and Akira Kobayashi star as two former criminals who are outed as witnesses to a murder committed by a local yakuza boss. The police are trying to convince the two to come forward so they can finally get a conviction against the smooth criminal, and the gangsters are trying to pay them off, with the threat of death looming on the horizon. This is just a very well written story, very complicated but not difficult to follow. The film-making is also quite good. Ishihara in particular gives a fantastic performance. His Crazed Fruit and I Am Waiting co-star Mari Shiraki has a major role. Jo Shishido of Branded to Kill fame also has a minor role as the guy who originally outs the two guys in a blackmail attempt. He meets an unfortunate fate.

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