IMDb > Cruel Gun Story (1964)

Cruel Gun Story (1964) More at IMDbPro »Kenjû zankoku monogatari (original title)

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Release Date:
1 February 1964 (Japan) See more »
A convict fresh out of prison, with a handicapped sister, is coerced by a wealthy mob boss into organizing an armored racetrack car heist. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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(3 articles)
Nikkatsu Noir: Takumi Furukawi’s Cruel Gun Story
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Cruel Gun Story (1964) See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Takumi Furukawa 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hisataka Kai 
Haruhiko Ôyabu 

Produced by
Hideo Sasai .... planner
Original Music by
Masayoshi Ikeda 
Cinematography by
Saburô Isayama 
Film Editing by
Masanori Tsujii 
Art Direction by
Toshiyuki Matsui 
Production Management
Masao Ushiyama .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kikuo Sakaguchi .... assistant director
Sound Department
Tsugio Yonezu .... sound
Special Effects by
Keiji Kaneda .... special effects
Kakuo Watai .... fight choreographer
Camera and Electrical Department
Masahiro Takashima .... gaffer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kenjû zankoku monogatari" - Japan (original title)
See more »
87 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Cruel Gun Story (1964), 24 May 2015
Author: mevmijaumau from Croatia

Takumi Furukawa's movies are really obscure, ranging from noir productions to a 1956 sun tribe film Season of the Sun, one of the prime examples of the genre. In the late '60s, he made two films in Hong Kong under the name Tai Ko Mei. And that's pretty much all the available information on him. Seeing how the director isn't really a known figure, the main reason to watch his film Cruel Gun Story is for the lead actor Joe Shishido - the legendary actor in gangster films who had a cheek implantation surgery to look more suitable to his roles (dafuq was he thinking?). He's the best leading actor in the entire Nikkatsu Noir set, with a cool screen presence.

Plotwise, the movie is a racetrack money heist film, so I guess it was inspired by Stanley Kubrick's The Killing. Interestingly enough, both films have incredibly generic titles that could fit every crime movie ever made, with Cruel Gun Story being similar to films like Oshima's Cruel Story of Youth or Imai's Cruel Tales of Bushido.

The film is very dark and, well, cruel, with ironic twists of fate, double-crossings at every corner, and ending, that, although predictable, still gets its job done. The flow is ruined by the absurdly stupid twist end coming in at the last minute and some issues I have with the heist plan, but maybe the guys are just bad planners. The film's bleakness kinda comes from the social context, with the crooks' criminal choice is due to them being in a socio-economic post-war gutter, and as such, their hideout is a place ruined by U.S. troops. I guess the economic miracle hadn't yet started being felt at the time of the movie's production.

The protagonist is somewhat more honorable than his enemies and has a paralyzed sister to take care of, intending to pay her an operation if the scheme goes well. If mishandled, this plot point could easily become a lazy melodramatic device, but the movie handles it very well and Furukawa gives it another dark little twist; in the sense that although the doctors say no operation can fix the sister's legs, Shishido's character still wants it to be true, in the end, making the film's enormous body count revolve around nothing.

This movie has some flaws, particularly the absurd final two minutes, but overall it's the most entertaining film from the set so far, has Joe Shishido, a huge body count and cool noir aesthetics. It's a wonderful example of by-the-books studio filmmaking - short runtime, easy plot, a pointless romance sub-plot, and not a single minute wasted. Perfect for quick entertainment. It doesn't hurt that one of the villains resembles Groucho Marx in his autumn years.

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