Drunken angel

Japan, 1948

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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.

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In ACMI's collection



Akira Kurosawa

production company

Toho Kabushiki Kaisha



Production places
Production dates

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ACMI Identifier




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Black and White


VHS; Access Print (Section 1)



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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/83024--drunken-angel/ |title=Drunken angel |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=18 July 2024 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}