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Nijiotoko (1949)

When a young woman is named as the prime suspect in a murder, her girlfriend and her girlfriend's boyfriend set out to prove her innocence. Their investigation leads them to an isolated, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Keiju Kobayashi ... Ryôsuke Akashi
Teruko Akatsuki ... Mimi Torigai
Katsuko Wakasugi ... Yurie Obata (as Sumiko Wakasugi)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Susumu Atsumi ... Nishizawa
Tatsuo Hanagire ... Detective Shimizu
Kiyoko Hirai ... Shimako Maya
Yoshirô Kitahara ... Yamamoto - News Cameraman
Osamu Maruyama ... News Reporter
Bontarô Miake ... Ryûzô Maya
Jun'nosuke Miyazaki ... Toyohiko Maya / Hachirô Suga
Manabu Morita ... Detective
Tamotsu Moriyama ... Dr. Hirai
Yoshiko Nagata ... Maya's Maid
Den Obinata ... Inspector Okada
Kenjirô Uemura ... Katsundo Maya
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Storyline

When a young woman is named as the prime suspect in a murder, her girlfriend and her girlfriend's boyfriend set out to prove her innocence. Their investigation leads them to an isolated, creepy house in the middle of nowhere, where sinister goings-on abound. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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18 July 1949 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Rainbow Man  »

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Japan's first modern science-fiction film. See more »

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References The Bat Whispers (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rainbow Terror in B&W
1 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

Since I am big scifi fan and love seeking out the old B&W, the obscure, foreign, and the campy to the classic films, I certainly had to see this film. After all, "Nijioitoko" (Rainbow Man) has been touted as Japan's first scifi film!

Essentially, "Nijioitoko" is a 40's film noir/old dark house film that concerns a brutal murder of a member for the allegedly cursed Maya family. Subsequent victims associated with the Mayas see a rainbow before they die, and cry out that the "Rainbow Man" is going to kill them.

As the investigation into the murder proceeds, two star reporters from competing newspapers, cover the story and fall in love with each other. In their course of discovery, they uncover a legend that the ancestral Maya family conducted religious practices that included making pacts with spirits of the rainbows. At some point, a Maya ancestor broke this pact and that unleashed a Rainbow Man of vengeance on the family.

In the course of this B&W film, a multi colored patterned grid or 'rainbow" does in fact manifest itself. The minor scifi element here is what causes the "rainbow".

Most of action takes place in the shadowy Maya mansion. In the basement laboratory, the father of the Maya family is shown to be an eccentric scientist who is obsessed with unlocking the cosmic secrets of rainbows. His wife (Shimako) futilely tries to maintain a calm demeanor. Katsuto is the semi-mad oldest son and artist who unnerves everyone with his Picasso-like paintings. Toyohiko is the estranged youngest son who skulks around in a beard and sunglasses. Meanwhile, Yurie Obata is the young woman, who happens to be prime suspect in the case, and has had a complete emotional meltdown.

Aside from scifi novelty of this film, "Nijioitoko" is solid effort and well worth seeing. Unusual for the period, the star female reporter (Mimi) is highly successful and self-sufficient. Through out this film, Mimi maintains her poise, professionalism, as well as her empathy for friend Yurie. The character of Mimi is certainly a refreshing role model for women.


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