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The Bad Sleep Well (1960)

Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 22 January 1963 (USA)
A vengeful young man marries the daughter of a corrupt industrialist in order to seek justice for his father's suicide.


Akira Kurosawa
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Kôichi Nishi
Masayuki Mori ... Public Corporation Vice President Iwabuchi
Kyôko Kagawa ... Yoshiko Nishi
Tatsuya Mihashi ... Tatsuo Iwabuchi
Takashi Shimura ... Administrative Officer Moriyama
Kô Nishimura ... Contract Officer Shirai
Takeshi Katô ... Itakura
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Assistant-to-the-Chief Wada
Chishû Ryû ... Public Prosecutor Nonaka
Seiji Miyaguchi ... Prosecutor Okakura
Kôji Mitsui ... Reporter A
Ken Mitsuda Ken Mitsuda ... Public Corporation President Arimura
Nobuo Nakamura ... Legal Adviser
Susumu Fujita Susumu Fujita ... Detective
Kôji Nanbara ... Prosecutor Horiuchi


It is a high-profile wedding: the daughter of Mr Iwabuchi, a wealthy businessman, is marrying Mr Nishi, a car salesman. However, Mr Iwabuchi and other senior members of his company are suspected of corporate malfeasance and the wedding becomes a bit of a farce, with the press swarming all over it. To add to the discord, the company officials are rather publicly reminded of an ignominious event which occurred a few years ago - a senior employee committed suicide by jumping from the 7th floor of their offices. Now other senior officials are committing suicide and it looks like it is related to that death of a few years ago. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Akira Kurosawa): [weather]: Wada's colleague accountant's suicide occurs during a rainy day; rain and wind are shown while Nishi and Itakura interrogate Moriyama. See more »


Public Corporation Vice President Iwabuchi: Good night, then.
[realizing it it's daytime]
Public Corporation Vice President Iwabuchi: Oh, my mistake. I didn't sleep at all last night and seem to have mistaken night for day.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released at 151 in Japan; USA version removes 16 minutes of footage. See more »


Referenced in Kurosawa: The Last Emperor (1999) See more »


Roses from the South (Rosen aus dem Süden, Op. 388)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played before and during the arrest
See more »

User Reviews

Possibly The Darkest, Bleakest & Most Cynical Of All Akira Kurosawa's Films
12 June 2020 | by CinemaClownSee all my reviews

Arguably the darkest, bleakest & most cynical of all Akira Kurosawa films, The Bad Sleep Well is an impressive amalgamation of assured direction, excellent writing & solid performances that not only works as an effective & engaging revenge drama but also serves as a sharp critique of corporate corruption.

The story begins with a masterly curated wedding sequence that aptly introduces all the relevant characters, and paves its foundation by letting the news reporters provide background details about each through their gossips. The revenge plan is already in motion when the film starts, and that scene does well to bring us up to date.

The set pieces are refined, detailed & beautifully lit while the fluid camerawork & crisp greyscale photography provide the imagery its rich intensity & timeless flair. Editing is carried out well for the most part but pacing does slip a little before the third act. All the actors play their roles responsibly, plus it's got Takashi Shimura in a rare villainous role.

Overall, The Bad Sleep Well finds Akira Kurosawa in complete control of his craft, and is yet another quality addition to the legendary auteur's oeuvre. Maintaining its firm grip on audience, the film is tense, captivating & thrilling for the majority of its 151 mins runtime before culminating with an ending that hits close to real-life. In short, an underrated & underseen gem.

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Release Date:

22 January 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bad Sleep Well See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,942, 28 July 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Perspecta Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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