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Drunken Angel (1948)

Yoidore tenshi (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 30 December 1959 (USA)
A drunken doctor with a hot temper and a violence-prone gangster with tuberculosis form a quicksilver bond.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Takashi Shimura ... Sanada
Toshirô Mifune ... Matsunaga
Reizaburô Yamamoto ... Okada
Michiyo Kogure ... Nanae
Chieko Nakakita Chieko Nakakita ... Miyo
Noriko Sengoku Noriko Sengoku ... Gin
Shizuko Kasagi Shizuko Kasagi ... Singer
Eitarô Shindô ... Takahama
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Oyabun
Taiji Tonoyama ... Shop Proprietor
Yoshiko Kuga ... Schoolgirl
Chôko Iida ... Bâya
Ko Ubukata Ko Ubukata ... Punk
Akira Tani Akira Tani ... Yakuza Follower
Sachio Sakai Sachio Sakai ... Guitar Player
Edit

Storyline

After a battle with rival criminals, a small-time gangster is treated by an alcoholic doctor in post-war Japan. The doctor diagnoses the young gangster's tuberculosis, and convinces him to begin treatment for it. The two enjoy an uneasy friendship until the gangster's former boss is released from prison and seeks to take over his gang once again. The ailing young man loses his status as gang boss and becomes ostracised, and eventually confronts his former boss in a battle to the death. Written by Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

office | scum | poor | thug | thuggery | See All (140) »

Taglines:

From Akira Kurosawa, creator of "Rashomon" an allegory of the postwar man.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

30 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drunken Angel See more »

Filming Locations:

Toho Studios, Tokyo, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First of many collaborations between Toshirô Mifune and Akira Kurosawa. See more »

Goofs

Even though the story takes place during the hot summer, breath can be seen coming from characters in several scenes. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Sanada: Fall in love for someone like me, I may be scruffy but you get free medical care.
See more »


Soundtracks

Minato ga mieru oka
(uncredited)
Written by Tatsuzô Azuma
See more »

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User Reviews

Drunken Angel
14 July 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Drunken Angel (1948)

*** (out of 4)

Straight-forward and simple drama about the troubled relationship between a low level gangster (Toshiro Mifune) dying of tuberculosis and the drunken doctor (Takashi Shimura) trying to save him during post-war Japan. There are a lot of different genres on display in this early Kurosawa film including noir, gangster and an odd couple drama. The three don't always mix too well together but Kurosawa's great direction mixed with the great lead performances make this a must see even if the gang would go onto much better films. What works the best here are the performances by Shimura and Mifune. The two men work extremely well together because they make their characters so well rounded to the point where you feel as if you know everything about the men. Mifune really digs deep into the gangster and this leads to many well acted scenes including the drunken one where the gangster must finally realize how serious his disease is. Shimura clearly steals the film as the angry and often times bitter, if still caring, drunken doctor. The amount of anger he displays with his character while still making us understand why he cares so much is perfectly done by the actor. Cheiko Nakakita and Reizaburo Yamamoto are also very good in their supporting roles of the nurse and gang boss. The cinematography is also top-notch especially a dream like sequence where the dying gangster invisions himself as a zombie-like creature. This scene is very effective as is another where spitting blood is involved. I think at times the film is way too over dramatic and this includes many scenes dealing with the "swampness" of Japan. Even with that said, this is still a very impressive drama that fans of Kurosawa will want to check out.


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