In 1948 the American army of occupation was still in situ in Japan; Toho, one of Japan’s biggest film production houses and producers of the films of Akira Kurosawa, was riven by strikes - the US Army actually dispersed striking union members who had occupied the Toho site. Against such a backdrop, that any film came out of the Toho state is remarkable. That Kurosawa was able to create a contemporary thriller which was allegorical to the condition of the country, a film rich in traditional Japanese imagery and values, highly esteemed by the critics of his own country - is nothing short of miraculous. Toshiro Mifune takes his first lead role in a Kurosawa film (he became a ‘star’ overnight), playing the sleek but sick young gangster who enlists the help of a shabby, alcoholic doctor, the drunken angel of the title. In Japanese with English subtitles.
Toho Kabushiki Kaisha
Black and White