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>
The film history : it's the first collaboration between Akira Kurosawa (director) and Toshiro Mifune (actor) that continued through 15 more films including the sublime Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Yojimbo.
The style : it's a great film noir with gangsters, zoot suits, speakeasy's, gambling etc.,
The history : post WW II Japan is a frightening place with rubble, raw sewage, crime and hope. It's a world I hadn't seen before.
Toshiro Mifune : What an amazing actor. He oozes charisma and you cannot take your eyes off of him. His performance reminded me of the first time I saw Russell Crowe, in a little seen mediocre movie called "For the Moment" which I watched many times because of Crowe's intensity.
My only problem is the copy I saw was terrible. The print was faded and half of the subtitles were illegible. When will this be released on DVD? It's not Kurosawa's best film, but it's certainly better than most of the drivel out there.
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