12 user 15 critic

Postman Blues (1997)

Posutoman burusu (original title)
A postman is mistaken for a dangerous criminal by the police.


SABU (as Sabu)


SABU (story) (as Sabu), SABU (screenplay) (as Sabu)
2 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Shin'ichi Tsutsumi ... Ryuichi Sawaki
Keisuke Horibe ... Noguchi
Ren Osugi ... Joe (as Ren Ôsugi)
Kyôko Tôyama Kyôko Tôyama ... Sayoko
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sei Hiraizumi Sei Hiraizumi ... Police Chief
Yôzaburô Itô Yôzaburô Itô ... Detective
Konta Konta ... (as Atsushi Kondo-Konta)
Akaji Maro ... Boss of Minato gang
Yutaka Mishima ... Hospitalized patient
SABU ... Kurokawa (as Hiroyuki Tanaka)
Hiroshi Shimizu Hiroshi Shimizu ... Domon
Ikkô Suzuki Ikkô Suzuki ... Masayoshi (as Ikko Suzuki)
Tomorô Taguchi ... Profiler
Ryoko Takizawa Ryoko Takizawa
Yoji Tanaka Yoji Tanaka ... Killer


Sawaki is a postman who's not quite thrilled about his boring way of life. But his life is about to change when he delivers mail to his old schoolmate Noguchi, who's now a member of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia, and just finished cutting his little finger off. Sawaki stays only for a short time and Noguchi manages to smuggle a package full of drugs into Sawakis bag. And, like that's not enough, accidentally his separated finger falls into Sawakis bag too. Because Noguchi has been spied out for quite a while by the police, they think that Sawaki has something to do with his criminal schemings and decide to stick onto his feet. When Sawaki bonds with the fatally ill hit man Joe, it's clear for the police what he must be: A schizophrenic-paranoid, perverse drug dealer, murderer and even terrorist sent from the Yakuza! Written by ToDumbToPickAUsername

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Action | Comedy


See all certifications »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Woman In The Street: [stopping Sawaki]
[subtitled from Japanese]
Woman In The Street: Mr. Postman, could you send this out?
[Sawaki takes the envelope and puts in the mailbox right next to him]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film continues during and after the end credits. See more »


References Léon: The Professional (1994) See more »

User Reviews

Not the best Sabu but still worth seeing
29 January 2004 | by FilmFlaneurSee all my reviews

This film was Sabu's second, and shows many of this auteur's characteristic hallmarks: a concern with drastically ironic coincidences and misunderstandings, effective staging and a striking disregard for naturalism being chief amongst them. It was also the first time that the director used the excellent actor Shinichi Tsutsumi as his leading man. The actor was to reappear very effectively in Monday, Drive, and Unlucky Monday, his stoic face a perfect foil to the director-screenwriter's often bleak view of fate and predations of satirised Yakuza. Tsitsumi's keatonesque presence, and his various misfortunes, increasingly provide the centerpieces to Sabu's films. The weakness of Postman's Blues, to some extent, can be traced back to the fact that the dirctor has not yet found way to situate his hero best at the heart of an ironic narrative.

Most of the present film's confusions take place outside of the hero's ken. Until the end, he remains unaware and is largely unaffected by the game fate is playing with his life. It creates a dissipation of effect, and despite a number of marvellous scenes, it is noticable that the most effective of them (the initial passing of the severed finger into his mailbag, his delivery of the same to the Yakuza boss; some hospital scenes and so on) directly involve Ryuichi. Away from him, the film seems to have no heart: the humour occasionally seems forced, as in the case of the Olympic cyclist sequence, and events loses focus. Sabu has not made this mistake again, and in succeeding features his leading man is conscious of the events being set in motion – an awareness adding immensely to the ironic pathos of his adventures.

For a the best introduction to the crazy world of Sabu, which often reminds one of Jacques Tati writing a Fritz Lang movie, the interested viewer should seek out the marvellous Monday. Having said that, existing admirers of the director – who surely deserves a wider reputation than he has – should see this, as Sabu's misfires are twice as interesting as most other director's successes.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





Japanese | English | French

Release Date:

16 August 1997 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Postman Blues See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Nikkatsu, Suplex, TV Tokyo See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed