6.8/10
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Akuma no temari-uta (1977)

Kôsuke Kindaichi, a somewhat peculiar private detective, visits a remote town. He meets a police detective and they start to investigate an old unsolved murder. Then some murders happen. ... See full summary »

Director:

Kon Ichikawa

Writers:

Kon Ichikawa (screenplay) (as Kurisutei), Seishi Yokomizo (novel)
Reviews
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôji Ishizaka Kôji Ishizaka ... Kôsuke Kindaichi
Keiko Kishi ... Rika Aochi
Akiko Nishina Akiko Nishina ... Chie Bessho
Kôji Kita Kôji Kita ... Kanao Aochi - Rika's Son
Yôko Takahashi Yôko Takahashi ... Yasuko Yura - Kanao's Girlfriend
Mitsukô Kusabue Mitsukô Kusabue ... Atsuko Yura - Yasuko's Mother (as Mitsuko Kusabue)
Hisano Yamaoka Hisano Yamaoka ... Ito Izutsu
Michiko Hayashi Michiko Hayashi ... Omiki
Misako Watanabe Misako Watanabe ... Harue Bessho - Chie's Mother
Takeshi Katô ... Inspector Tachibana
Hideji Ôtaki Hideji Ôtaki ... Dr. Gondô
Nobuo Nakamura ... Hôan Tatara
Nobuto Okamoto Nobuto Okamoto ... Police Officer Nakamura
Eiko Nagashima Eiko Nagashima ... Satoko Aochi - Rika's Daughter
Yukiko Nagano Yukiko Nagano ... Fumiko Nire
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Storyline

Kôsuke Kindaichi, a somewhat peculiar private detective, visits a remote town. He meets a police detective and they start to investigate an old unsolved murder. Then some murders happen. Kindaichi must find out about the past in order to reveal who the murderer is. Written by Frankie Lafferty

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

2 April 1977 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Bouncing Ball Song See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Soja City is mentioned in the film. It is a smallish city in Okayama prefecture. Kindaichi visits Kobe city which is a major city in Japan. See more »

Connections

Features Morocco (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Onikobe-mura temari-uta
Music by Kunihiko Murai
Lyrics by Seishi Yokomizo
Courtesy of Toho Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Murder in a smalltown village
22 May 2011 | by origo13See all my reviews

Synopsis The story is set in 1950 Japan in a a smalltown village called Onikobe (Devil's Skull) where a private detective Kindaichi is hired by Inspector Isokawa to help a solve a 20 year old murder case. Kindaichi and Isokawa reunites after 2 years at the Kamenoyu Inn located at Onikobe. The murder that took place in Onikobe involves the death of a Mr Genjiro (murdered husband of Mrs Rika)and a swindler Ikuo Onda. Presumably Genjiro confronted Onda about his wreath swindling scheme 20 years ago where Onda clubbed Genjiro over the head after which his head landed in a nearby fireplace leaving his face unrecognizable.

PI Kindaichi and Inspector Isokawa investigation yields several difficulties in a smalltown village where a power struggle exists between two families (the Yura- and Nire-family). Upon their investigation even more murders ensue...

Review: The Devils Ballad is a masterfully made whodunnit mystery film done by Kon Ichikawa. As far as Mystery films go, this is way ahead of its time. The amount of facts and names that one must process within the first 30 minutes of the film can be a bit overwhelming so attention to detail is a definite prerequisite to enjoy The Devils Ballad. The Horror element found mainly when the murders take place or when they show the corpses surprised me very much. Theses scenes are brief but graphic,visceral and very effective...they stand well even to today's standards. The amount of comedic relief is even less brief than the graphic scenes but also effective such as PI Kindaichi's dandruff problem and Inspector Tachibana's incompetence.

The Soundtrack is a bit all over the place. It features some upbeat fusion sounds that are borderline cheesy at times. The classical folk sounds and Orchestral work makes up for that. I especially loved the sweeping Orchestral piece towards the end.

Overall the film is beautifully shot; the acting is flawless; the story and characters are intriguing...underrated gem. My only criticism is that the film drags on a little bit just before the end. Nonetheless its a great film for those into classic Mystery films. I'll definitely be checking out more of Kon Ichikawa's work.


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