7.9/10
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Stray Dog (1949)

Nora inu (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 31 August 1963 (USA)
During a sweltering summer, a rookie homicide detective tries to track down his stolen Colt pistol.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Detective Murakami
Takashi Shimura ... Chief Detective Sato
Keiko Awaji Keiko Awaji ... Harumi Namaki, the girl-friend
Eiko Miyoshi Eiko Miyoshi ... Madame Namiki, Harumi's mother
Noriko Sengoku Noriko Sengoku ... Ogin, the pickpocket
Noriko Honma Noriko Honma ... Woman of wooden tub shop
Reikichi Kawamura Reikichi Kawamura ... Officer Ichikawa
Eijirô Tôno ... Old man of wooden tub shop
Yasushi Nagata Yasushi Nagata ... Investigation Chief Abe
Isao Kimura Isao Kimura ... Shinjiro Yusa
Teruko Kishi Teruko Kishi ... Ogin, a pickpocket
Minoru Chiaki ... Girlie Show director
Ichirô Sugai ... Yayoi Hotel owner
Gen Shimizu Gen Shimizu ... Police Inspector Nakajima
Kan Yanagiya Kan Yanagiya ... Police Officer
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Storyline

Murukami, a young homicide detective, has his pocket picked on a bus and loses his pistol. Frantic and ashamed, he dashes about trying to recover the weapon without success until taken under the wing of an older and wiser detective, Sato. Together they track the culprit. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...The Suspense Filled Story of 7 Bullets! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

31 August 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stray Dog See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Kurosawa wrote the script with Ryûzô Kikushima, a writer who had never written a script before. The two collaborated a dozen more times before having a serious fallout in 1969. See more »

Goofs

At one point, there is a man playing a tune on a harmonica that needs two people with harmonicas to play. See more »

Quotes

Det. Sato: We want to see Namiki.
[the show director, a tall young man with thick, limp hair, slumps down in a chair and holds an electric fan to his face]
Girlie Show director: [lazily] Harumi's out today. She's a real problem, that one. One little comment and she takes the day off. She's quiet all right, but the quiet ones are always the most stubborn. And she's sick right now.
Det. Sato: She's sick?
Girlie Show director: With her monthlies, you know. They're always impossible then.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Magnum Force (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

La Paloma
(uncredited)
Written by Sebastián Yradier
Heard in the hotel and over the phone after Sato gets shot
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The brilliance of early Kurosawa
3 August 2002 | by jandesimpsonSee all my reviews

Impressive as some of the later films of Kurosawa are - "Kagemusha" and "Ran" for example, I have to confess that it is his early work, particularly those set in modern Japan as opposed to its feudal past, that I find myself returning to with greater pleasure. He was not one of those artists who necessarily got better and better, rather was he one who continued to take on different challenges, not always with the same degree of success, as "Dodesukaden" and "Dreams" were to prove. I have long regarded the 1952 "Ikiru" as his greatest achievement, with the three modern day day films starring Toshiro Mifune that precede it, "Drunken Angel", "The Quiet Duel" and "Stray Dog", fascinating consolidations of his skill as a director. "Stray Dog" revels in technical accomplishment. It tells the story of a policeman who, after experiencing the theft of his gun while travelling on a bus, embarks on an odyssey to retrieve it. Questions of morality and honour loom large as they do in any Kurosawa film, with the quest becoming ever more urgent as evidence is gathered of the weapon being used in criminal activities. What might be regarded as plain bad luck in another culture is here seen as a matter of shame and dishonour by the unfortunate policeman, that has to be addressed forsaking all else. The search is pursued in a dazzling series of chases, encounters and interrogations that leaves the audience, like the hero, exhausted at times. The weather is hot throughout, characters sweat profusely and sometimes everything erupts in a tropical downpour - no other director uses rain so physically. Perhaps, at over two hours, "Stray Dog" is a little too long to sustain its material. It sags a little in the middle, but the chases at the outer ends of the film are wonderfully done, particularly the penultimate sequence where the cop pursues his prey through vegetation where city and countryside meet. You can almost smell the steamy atmosphere of a morning after rain where everything is about to heat up again. Possibly the other two Mifune films of the same period have the edge on this. They are more meditative works, their lengths more sustainable. But, for sheer cinematic bravado, this is the one.


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