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I Am Waiting (1957)

Ore wa matteru ze (original title)
A former boxer gets involved with a club hostess trying to escape the clutches of her gangster employer.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jôji Shimaki
Mie Kitahara ...
Saeko
Isamu Kosugi ...
Uchiyama
Kenjirô Uemura ...
Police detective
Hideaki Nitani ...
Shibata - Shibata elder
Ken Hatano ...
Shibata - Younger
Kôjirô Kusanagi ...
Takeda
Ayuko Fujishiro
Tomio Aoki
Nobuo Kawakami
Jun Miyazaki
Kenji Kawai
Shôki Fukae ...
(as Akiyoshi Fukae)
Jôji Eihara
Hyôe Enoki
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Storyline

Jôji is a boxer barred from the ring; Saeko is a singer whose voice is gone. Lost souls, they meet one night by a quay; she may be thinking of suicide. He invites her to his café, and perhaps he will rescue her from the cabaret where she's under contract to a vicious mob leader. When the boss insists on her return, Jôji is bitter. He also despairs over lost dreams. His brother has gone to Brazil to purchase a farm; Jôji planned to join him but now believes his brother abandoned him. When Jôji discovers a clue about his brother, he needs Saeko's help. Like a fighter in the ring, he pursues the truth relentlessly, without regard for his own safety. Will it cost his life? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

brazil | boxer | cabaret | singer | dream | See All (45) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

20 October 1957 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

I Am Waiting  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Ore wa matteru ze
Words by Masami Iwasaki
Music by Kenroku Uehara
Arranged by Tokujiro Okubo
Performed by Yûjirô Ishihara
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User Reviews

 
I Am Waiting (1957)
21 May 2015 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

This is the debut feature film from to-be-New Wave director Koreyoshi Kurahara, also responsible for The Warped Ones, one of the craziest films from the 1960s. I Am Waiting is a different piece of work, so if you liked TWO, don't expect anything similar here. I Am Waiting is a film noir reminiscent of those from America or France, so there's nothing truly exotic about the movie in this regard, in fact, the only thing in the film you wouldn't find in a Western production is a game of mahjong.

The film stars Yujiro Ishihara and Mie Kitahara, fresh off their collaboration on Ko Nakahira's Crazed Fruit (1956), amongst many of their other films. The story is a typical noir plot about crime, melancholia and characters haunted by their past mistakes. The plot is based entirely on coincidences, be it the principal three characters all having the same past crime of murdering someone, or the huge coincidence that connects the main two story lines. But it's not really a lazy writing device because the entire plot is based on these coincidental happenings. The film starts off as a romance/character study, but later dissolves into a crime thriller with fisticuffs and investigations. For the most part though, it seems as if the mobster villains weren't in Kurahara's interest as much as the romantic plot was.

The dumbest thing about the movie are the villains; they're completely incompetent and it's almost a joke how much of an advantage the hero has over them. They're unable to kill a person by whacking him on the head with a bat and throwing him unconscious in the sea, but the protagonist is perfectly capable of delivering swift killing punches as he effortlessly disposes of multiple baddies by beating them to death. The entire boxing sub-plot actually reminds me of Kubrick's film noir Killer's Kiss, which came out two years before Kurahara's film.

The movie's pace is slow but naturally escalates in the final scene, in the true spirit of the classic narratives of many other notable crime films of the period. The opening sequence showing water dripping water on a pond is memorable, as well as some minor stylistical choices, such as utilizing ceiling fans to create rotating shadows onto the set, a trick Kurahara used to better effect years later in The Warped Ones.

This movie started off my Nikkatsu Noir experience and while certainly not bad, it isn't anything special either. All in all, I'm definitely interested in seeing more of these films, but this one was just OK.


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