F for Fake (1973)

“Don’t be spooked by the experts.”

F for Fake Poster

Synopsis:
Orson Welles investigates the nature of “truth” in art via the stories of famed forger Elmyr de Hory and his fraudulent biographer, Clifford Irving.

Genres:

Review:
This fascinating meditation on the nature of artistic veracity is a fitting capstone to Orson Welles’ lengthy yet infamously helter-skelter career. Ostensibly a documentary about one of the most famous forgers in the art world (Hungarian expatriate Elmyr de Hory) being interviewed by his biographer, Clifford Irving, Welles uses the fortuitous revelation of Irving’s fraudulent book about Howard Hughes (nicely told, btw, in the 2006 film The Hoax, starring Richard Gere as Irving) as an excuse to blast the notion of artistic “truth” completely out of the water. It’s no surprise Welles was fascinated by this material: a notorious trickster himself, he staged the most infamous hoax in American history back in 1938 by broadcasting H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” over the radio as though a Martian invasion was really occurring (an event he alludes to in the film).

Welles bookends his movie with a cinematic lust paean to his lover and final companion in life, Oja Kodar — first by showing clips from what may or may not be an authentic “Candid Camera”-like attempt to document men’s ogling reactions to Kodar as she sashays down the street in a form-fitting dress, and later by telling a just-so story about an encounter between Kodar’s grandfather (presumably an infamous Hungarian art forger in his own right) and a teed off Pablo Picasso. By the end of Welles’ trickily edited film, he has successfully convinced us that there may very well be no such thing as “truth” when it comes to storytelling — and that we should be duly forewarned. Knowing ex post facto that the footage Welles used of de Hory and Irving wasn’t his own (he “borrowed” it from the French filmmaker Francois Reichenbach) simply adds one more delicious dimension to this mind-bending cinematic essay.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • A fascinating, cleverly edited expose of fraud and “fakery” in art
    F for Fake Welles
    F for Fake De Hory

Must See?
Yes, as an immensely creative swan song by a master director.

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Devil Doll, The (1936)

“We’ll make the whole world SMALL!”

Devil Doll Poster

Synopsis:
A falsely accused convict on the lam (Lionel Barrymore) collaborates with a mad scientist (Rafaela Ottiano) in using miniature “live” dolls to seek revenge on his three ex-partners.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
In his brief review of this “unsettling” horror flick — directed by Tod Browning and co-written by Erich von Stroheim — Peary notes that the special effects are “good”, pointing out that when Barrymore uses mind control to send the “doll people” (Grace Ford and Paul Foltz) to “sneak through [the] houses [of his ex-partners], they’re like wily rodents or insects on the loose — they’ll give you chills”. I would argue that the effects are more than merely “good”: they’re actually quite impressive, given that the miniaturized humans blend seamlessly into their life-sized surroundings, through the creative use of both travelling mattes and over-sized sets.

Peary also neglects to mention in his review how effective Barrymore is in the plum central role, as a righteously vengeful fugitive who spends most of his screen time in convincing cross-dress as “Madame Manderlip”; to that end, the make-up department on the film set deserves special mention as well. Also memorable (if a tad one-note in her performance) is “crazed” Ottiano, with a wild streak of white running through her hair, reminiscent of Elsa Lanchester’s iconic “bride of Frankenstein”. Her presence here is refreshing simply as one of cinema’s few female “mad scientists” — and her obsession with making all living creatures tiny borders on ludicrously campy, allowing for a surprising twist of tension in the final act of the film.

While the narrative gets bogged down occasionally by a sappy, Stella Dallas-esque backstory involving Barrymore’s attempts to befriend his estranged adult daughter (Maureen O’Sullivan), there are enough surreal, chilling elements throughout this memorable film to make it a minor cult classic. Film fanatics should take note that several of the story’s central elements are evident in both Browning and von Stroheim’s earlier efforts: Browning’s The Unholy Three (1925) featured Lon Chaney in drag as a wily old woman, for instance, while von Stroheim’s The Great Gabbo (1929) dealt with a human-like ventriloquist’s doll.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Lionel Barrymore as Paul Lavond/Madame Manderlip
    Devil Doll Barrymore
  • Impressive special effects
    Devil Doll Special Effects

Must See?
Yes, as an enjoyable cult horror classic.

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Svengali (1931)

“You are beautiful, my manufactured love…”

Svengali Poster

Synopsis:
A sinister musician (John Barrymore) hypnotizes a model (Marian Marsh) into becoming his wife and a famous opera singer — but her true love (Bramwell Fletcher) refuses to give up hope that she will one day return to him.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary argues that “John Barrymore gave one of his finest screen performances in this unusual adaptation of George du Maurier’s classic novel Trilby” — but I can’t quite agree. While he is indeed “menacing” and “sleazy” (not to mention “in-need-of-a-bath”), Barrymore’s performance, perhaps not surprisingly, far too often borders on hammy. Much more impressive is beautiful Marian Marsh as Trilby, the object of his obsessive desires; from the moment she appears on-screen, Marsh radiates a unique, surprisingly modern energy — making it easy to see why both Svengali and Fletcher’s “Billee” would fall so hard for her. Unfortunately, the “racy” narrative comes across today as dated and largely uninteresting, with occasional bursts of creative energy (i.e., Svengali’s initial hypnosis session with Marsh) adding some much-needed horror and thrills to the proceedings. Anton Grot’s Oscar-nominated, highly expressionistic sets are also noteworthy, though they give the film an undeniably stagy feel. As Peary notes, the “depressing ending” does indeed come as a bit of a surprise.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Marian Marsh as Trilby
    Svengali Marsh
  • The eerily effective hypnosis scene
    Svengali Hypnosis
  • Expressionistic art direction
    Svengali Art Direction

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look simply for its historical value, and to see Marsh’s performance.

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Rashomon (1950)

“It’s human to lie. Most of the time we can’t even be honest with ourselves.”

Rashomon Poster

Synopsis:
A trio of drifters (Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, and Kichijiro Ueda) discuss the murder of a samurai (Masayuki Mori) and the rape of his wife (Machiko Kyo) committed by a savage bandit (Toshiro Mifune).

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary seems less than enamored by this seminal Kurosawa movie, which was “the first Japanese film to receive widespread international distribution and success” (indeed, it won an honorary Oscar in 1952, and was presumably the impetus for creating a Best Foreign Film category). He argues that the “film doesn’t hold up as well as other Kurosawa works because its ‘there is no such thing as Absolute Truth’ theme isn’t particularly novel.” He further complains that the performances (with the exception of Mifune, who he believes “makes a strong impression”) are “either irritating or forgettable”; that the “playing of ‘Bolero’ at one point seems inappropriate”; and that the opening and concluding sequences (which “were inserted into [the] script so the picture would be long enough to interest a distributor”) are “disconcerting”.

I disagree with Peary on nearly all the above points. The film’s central premise — that truth is subjective enough that we all approach the telling of a tale with our unique biases and subconscious desires firmly in play — is universal, and so masterfully portrayed by Kurosawa that it serves as an enduring primer for how to relate such a story in cinematic terms. To that end, Peary does concede that “it shouldn’t be forgotten that Kurosawa broke the rules of cinema storytelling”; along with many other critics (see links below), he notes that “it is less important that any four people will tell four different versions of a story than that any filmmaker is capable of taking a story and visualizing it in an infinite number of equally persuasive, audience-manipulative ways”.

With regards to the film’s “bookends”, they come across as simply a convenient and effective narrative device; and the inclusion of “Bolero” (actually, a variation thereof) in the soundtrack doesn’t strike me as particularly jarring. Finally, in terms of the film’s central performances, I’m actually less a fan of Mifune’s primal bandit (as noted in Time Out London’s review, he “veers on the hammy side of earthy”) than I am of both Kyo as the samurai’s wife (watch how her expressions and overall demeanor shift from vignette to vignette), and Mori as the samurai himself (though he’s not given much to do, he effectively projects an unnerving, steely reserve). Even more memorable than the actors, however, are Kurosawa’s stunning, haunting visuals — as usual, every frame of his story is composed with craft and care.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine performances by the principal actors
    Rashomon Mifune
    Rashomon Kyo
  • Memorable imagery and cinematography
    Rashomon Court
    Rashomon Meadow Scene

Must See?
Yes, as an historically important foreign classic by a master director.

Categories

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

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Gilda (1946)

“You do hate me, don’t you, Johnny?”

Gilda Poster

Synopsis:
A petty gambler (Glenn Ford) managing a casino in Buenos Aires is dismayed to discover that his boss (George Macready) has married his hedonistic former flame, Gilda (Rita Hayworth).

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary’s not a big fan of this classic wartime flick, starring pin-up girl Rita Hayworth in what is undoubtedly her most iconic role. While he acknowledges that “gorgeous Rita sizzles, wearing an assortment of sexy outfits and singing ‘Put the Blame on Mame’,” he complains that the film as a whole is “overlong, silly, and confusing”. Watching it again recently, however, I found myself surprisingly absorbed in its tale of a vitriolic “love-hate” relationship between a couple so clearly meant for one another (if only they could get over whatever it is that keeps them clawing at one another’s throats). The aspects of the script focusing on Macready’s shady wartime dealings as the head of an international tungsten cartel (!) are a tad incomprehensible and meandering (Joseph Calleia’s detective lurks around the perimeter of the set without much to do), but are ultimately inconsequential, and fortunately don’t distract much at all from the central conflict: the tension-filled menage a trois between Macready, Ford, and Hayworth.

I disagree as well with Peary’s assessment of Macready as “good and sinister” but “not strong enough for such a pivotal role” — it’s exactly his creepy but understated presence that gives his relationship with Ford’s Johnny such an unusual edge (why exactly did he “pick up” Johnny to begin with, off the streets of Bueno Aires?). I agree with Peary, however, that Ford “gives an uninteresting performance as an unlikable heel-hero” — actually, his performance here is not so much “uninteresting” as it is unconvincing (though the fault is less with Ford than with the studio heads for miscasting him in the first place). He simply doesn’t have the requisite allure or good looks to be credible as a man that a goddess — er, woman — like Gilda would get herself so hung up over. On that note, the script teasingly neglects to fill us in on the little detail of what exactly tore Gilda and Johnny apart to begin with. Quibbles aside, however, there’s enough to the film — including director Charles Vidor’s more-than-serviceable direction, Rudolph Mate’s noir-inflected cinematography, Rita’s inimitable presence, and lots of zingy dialogue — to make it a must-see classic at least once for all film fanatics.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Rita Hayworth as Gilda
    Gilda Hayworth
  • Gilda’s justifiably famous and sexy dance routines
    Gilda Mame
  • Rudolph Mate’s cinematography
    Gilda Cinematography
  • Plenty of racy, memorable dialogue — most by Gilda:

    “Me? Sure, I’m decent…”

    “I can never get a zipper to close. Maybe that stands for something, what do you think?”

    “There’s something about Latin men: for one thing, they can dance… For another — “

Must See?
Yes, as an iconic classic.

Categories

(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)

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Born to Kill (1947)

“You’re strength… excitement… and depravity.”

Born to Kill Poster

Synopsis:
A recent divorcee (Claire Trevor) falls for a hunky psychopath (Lawrence Tierney), and finds herself covering up for his murderous tendencies.

Genres:

Review:
Dubbed by New York Times reviewer Bosley Crowther as “not only morally disgusting but … an offense to a normal intellect”, and labeled by DVD Savant “one of the nastier films noir [sic],” this lurid flick by director Robert Wise tells the tale of an irredeemably psychopathic killer (Tierney as “Sam Wild”) who finds his would-be soul-mate in Claire Trevor’s cool and calculating neo-socialite, Helen Brant. As in the best noir, these two characters are utterly deserving of each other, but find themselves foiled (inevitably) by their own ambitions. In a unique twist, however, Tierney is the homme fatale in the equation — the irresistible male who causes havoc on the otherwise ordered lives of those around him.

While in some ways gruff-guy Tierney (best known for playing the title role in 1945’s Dillinger) is perfectly cast, he’s ultimately not a nuanced enough actor to bring Wild’s inner life to the surface; we never get a sense of him as anything other than a menacing hulk — and, given his lack of charisma, it’s difficult to see why so many women would fall head over heels for him. (He’s handsome and strong — definitely “not a turnip”, as one character puts it — but not THAT handsome!)

Trevor, however, does wonders with her challenging role, managing to make Helen sympathetic even as she stupidly gives up a life of luxury and contentment (with dull but moneyed Phillip Terry) for the questionable [sexual] thrills afforded her by Tierney. While there’s much critical discussion of Trevor’s dramatic eyebrow-raising throughout the film, I find her performance refreshingly sincere. The cast of supporting performers are mostly fine as well, with reliable B-actor Elisha Cook, Jr. playing nicely against type (sort of) as a care-taking “George” to Tierney’s “Lennie” (he has a bit more spunk here than in his usual roles), and the inimitable Esther Howard — whose grotesquely fascinating face is as creaky and crooked as a jalopy — equally effective as the catalyst who brings Walter Slezak’s sleazy PI to San Francisco.

Less impressive is Audrey Long as Trevor’s conveniently naive and gold-hearted foster sister, who is simply too beautiful to be credible as a wealthy heiress so easily won over by an uncultured lout like Tierney. Other elements of the plot strain credulity as well, simply through lack of sufficient explanation — i.e., what is Tierney’s relationship, past and present, with Cook, Jr.? How did Trevor get to be Long’s “foster sister”, and why is Long so loyal to her? Ultimately, however, one watches a picture like this simply to see how the corrupt protagonists will meet their ends — and the ride until then (implausibilities aside) is mostly satisfying, thanks to Trevor’s memorable performance, some crackling dialogue, and Robert De Grasse’s noir-ish cinematography.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Claire Trevor as Helen Brent
    Born to Kill Claire Trevor
  • Fine supporting performances by Elisha Cook, Jr., Esther Holland, and others
    Born to Kill Cook Jr.
    Born to Kill Howard
  • Robert De Grasse’s cinematography
    Born to Kill Cinematography
  • Some zingy dialogue: “”He’s the quiet sort, but you get the feeling that if you got out of line, he’d kick your teeth down your throat.”

Must See?
Yes, simply for Trevor’s performance. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.

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Scandal Sheet (1952)

“Too bad the guy used an axe on her head; spoiled some pretty pictures for me.”

Scandal Sheet Poster

Synopsis:
When the editor of a sensationalist newspaper (Broderick Crawford) accidentally kills his estranged wife (Rosemary DeCamp), his lead reporter (John Derek) is assigned to the case of the “Lonely Hearts Murderer” — not knowing that his boss is the man he’s looking for.

Genres:

Review:
Phil Karlson’s adaptation of Samuel Fuller’s 1944 novel The Dark Page is an enjoyable if “solid [and] unpretentious” thriller. Because we know the identity of the “Lonely Hearts Murderer” from the moment we see Crawford accidentally killing his long-lost wife in a hotel room scuffle, the film’s suspense lies exclusively in how and when his secret will be found out. A fiendishly ambitious editor devoted to milking every scandal for what it’s worth to his increasingly low-brow but profitable rag, Crawford’s Mark Chapman is forced to shove his tawdry actions (and more distant, seamy past) under the rug — and Crawford does a fine job portraying the kind of audacious (or foolhardy) man who, in his own words, “gambles” with his own life rather than running, at least “until there’s nothing else left to do”.

Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, John Derek is too much of a pretty boy for his role and is never entirely convincing as the eager-beaver rookie journalist who places Crawford on such a pedestal (though his opening scene with Harry Morgan as his sidekick photographer is a zinger). Meanwhile, Derek’s rocky interactions with Donna Reed (trying hard in a weakly written role as his moralistic female colleague) seem to be included in the screenplay merely to provide a requisite love interest subplot. In addition, while its central premise is inherently exciting, the script is predicated on a series of implausible coincidences, and many scenes simply don’t ring true (c.f. a disturbingly paternalistic sequence near the end of the film involving a bar full of stereotypical “winos”). However, the movie possesses enough noir-ish atmosphere (courtesy of Burnett Guffey‘s stark cinematography), enjoyably hardboiled dialogue, and genuine suspense that film fanatics will surely be curious to check it out at least once.

P.S. Fuller was apparently so unimpressed by Scandal Sheet that he vowed to helm all his own flicks in the future — and did.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Broderick Crawford as Mark Chapman
    Scandal Sheet Cinematography
  • Burnett Guffey’s cinematography
    Scandal Sheet Cinematography
    Scandal Sheet Cinematography2

Must See?
No, but it’s worth viewing.

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Green for Danger (1946)

“Joseph Higgins was quite dead.”

Green for Danger

Synopsis:
When a postman (Moore Marriott) dies mysteriously on the operating table of a rural hospital during WWII — and a nurse (Judy Campbell) with incriminating evidence is killed shortly thereafter — an inspector (Alastair Sim) is sent to investigate which of a close-knit team of doctors (Leo Genn and Trevor Howard) and nurses (Rosamund John, Sally Gray, and Megs Jenkins) is the murderer.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary argues that this “famous whodunit” by the creative team of Sidney Gilliat and Frank Laudner — who worked together on more than 40 films between 1930 and 1966, including The Green Man (1956) and Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes — “is much overrated”. He states that while “the mystery is satisfactory… the proceedings are surprisingly somber” — yet as Tom Huddleston writes in his review for Not Coming to a Theater Near You, the film can actually be viewed as a sort of “Ealing noir,” one which effectively incorporates atmospheric cinematography (by Wilkie Cooper) and noir-ish tropes (i.e., a contentious love triangle) into its Agatha Christie-style ensemble murder plot. As DVD Savant notes, the film “has a dark undertone, an uneasy quality that works against the surface order of the standard wartime English movie” — and it’s exactly this “dark undertone” that makes the film so memorable.

Peary argues that Alastair Sim’s “supposedly witty” detective is “a poorly conceived character”, seemingly “in the wrong film” — a point I’ll agree with to a certain extent. As enjoyable as this quirky actor always is to watch, his Inspector Cockrill adds incongruous levity to the proceedings; when he first enters the screen with a slapsticky stumble and roll, we feel as though we’ve suddenly switched to watching a Jacques Tati film. Peary also somewhat cynically states that the “picture’s major advantage is that you forget who the murderer is from one viewing to the next”. Interestingly, I was convinced I remembered the killer’s identity from when I first saw this film ~15 years ago, but was absolutely wrong — so his point is well-taken! However, the mystery itself is more enjoyable than Peary’s snarky statement would have you believe: it’s full of conflicted love interests and guilty secrets, with each of the would-be murderers (particularly Jenkins) turning in a solid, believable performance. Definitely worth a look.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Fine performances by the ensemble cast
    Green for Danger Screenplay
  • An effectively tense screenplay
    Green for Danger Sim
  • Wilkie Cooper’s atmospheric cinematography
    Green for Danger Cinematography

Must See?
Yes, as a smart little thriller.

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Killing, The (1956)

“You like money — you’ve got a great big dollar sign there where most women have a heart.”

Killing Poster

Synopsis:
A mousy racetrack clerk (Elisha Cook, Jr.) is henpecked by his wife (Marie Windsor) into revealing details of an elaborate heist being planned by an ex-con (Sterling Hayden).

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “first-rate, exciting, fatalistic caper film” — Stanley Kubrick’s “first major work” — features “interesting characters, smart dialogue, terrific suspense”, and one of the most startling endings in cinematic history (though Peary argues it “has since become cliche”). Kubrick makes excellent use of his small budget, compensating by shooting “his indoor shoebox sets imaginatively, actually emphasizing their tightness”, thus adding a sense of claustrophobia “to the tension of both characters and viewers”. In addition, as Peary notes, the “picture has [a] striking rhythm due to sharp editing within sequences and because of the non-chronological structure” of the film, in which “each time the race is about to begin [Kubrick] moves back in time and repeats the passed time from a different character’s perspective”. Lucien Ballard’s stark noir cinematography adds to the film’s overall atmosphere of strained anticipation.

As The Killing begins, a solemn voiceover (Art Gilmore) informs us:

At exactly 3:45 on that Saturday afternoon in the last week of September, Marvin Unger was, perhaps, the only one among the hundred thousand people at the track who felt no thrill at the running of the fifth race.

This voiceover — a dated relic which mostly feels unnecessary (Tarantino, who drew inspiration from this film, would likely ditch it entirely) — continues periodically throughout the movie, filling us in on the specifics of each character’s actions, and how they all relate to the grand heist. Indeed, while Sterling Hayden (nominated by Peary as one of the best actors of the year in his Alternate Oscars book) is ostensibly the film’s protagonist, screentime is actually distributed amongst the motley crew of heist participants, and our allegiance and attention shift as needed to the other players in the film.

For a while, for instance, Elisha Cook, Jr.’s troubled relationship with his “manipulative, unfaithful, double-crossing wife” (played to B-level perfection by Marie Windsor) dominates the story, as his foolhardy desire to save his sham of a marriage propels the entire operation towards its inevitable doom. During these scenes, we note that Windsor is given some of the best hardboiled dialogue in the film (courtesy of Jim Thompson):

It isn’t fair. I never had anybody but you. Not a real husband. Not even a man. Just a bad joke without a punch line.

Soon we’re caught up in the mechanics of the heist itself, watching as each player fulfills his well-timed part, and “the pieces of a great puzzle fall into place”. Tension builds incrementally, as we wonder when the inevitable slip-up will occur; the interactions between a hick hired gun (Timothy Carey, reminiscent of John Turturro) and the black racetrack employee (James Edwards) he sweet-talks into letting him into a parking lot ahead of time are particularly riveting and disturbing. By the end of the film, the story has cycled back to Hayden, and we watch with bated breath to see what fate holds for him and his “nice girlfriend” (an underused Colleen Gray). All I’ll say is: watch the woman with the dog.

Note: Peary accurately points out that the film “recalls Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob Le Flambeur” — another must-see classic.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Lucien Ballard’s cinematography
    Killing Cinematography
  • Fine supporting performances
    Killing Carey
  • The knuckle-gripping ending
    Killing Ending

Must See?
Yes, as Kubrick’s breakthrough film, and as an all-around good show. Nominated as one of the best pictures of the year in Peary’s Alternate Oscars book.

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Drunken Angel (1948)

“You worry about all of your patients more than yourself.”

Drunken Angel Poster

Synopsis:
An alcoholic doctor (Takashi Shimura) in post-WWII Japan tries to convince a TB-ridden gangster (Toshiro Mifune) to mend his ways and get well.

Genres:

Review:
While famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa is best known for his highly influential historical films — including The Seven Samurai (1954), The Hidden Fortress (1958), Yojimbo (1961), and Ran (1985), to name just a few — he helmed a number of powerful “real time” films early in his lengthy career, many of which remain worthy viewing as well. Drunken Angel — the earliest Kurosawa film listed in Peary’s book — is notable as the movie in which Kurosawa self-reportedly “found himself” as a director. It’s also notable as the first film in which he cast Toshiro Mifune, who would become inextricably linked with Kurosawa’s oeuvre until their final collaboration together in 1965’s Red Beard; Mifune’s volatile performance here makes his star power eminently clear.

Drunken Angel is an atmospheric, neo-realist rendering of life in post-WWII Japan, with Shimura’s desperate attempt to save the life of his TB-riddled patient symbolizing the nation’s struggle to right itself after years of debilitating warfare. Shimura, while noble in his desires, is ultimately a flawed protagonist — he drinks too much, and is too willing to take unnecessary risks in order to rescue Mifune from himself; meanwhile, Mifune — despite his Yakuza associations — is surprisingly sympathetic, and comes across as imminently redeemable. Their relationship together is both curious and weirdly logical, and we watch with fascination to see how things will turn out for this unconventional “odd couple”. Meanwhile, Kurosawa fills the screen with sensuous yet repellent imagery, continuously evoking fetid water as a palpable metaphor for post-war decay and destruction; it’s impossible to turn away, no matter how disturbing the sight.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Toshiro Mifune as Matsunaga
    Drunken Angel Mifune
  • Takashi Shimura as Dr. Sanada
    Drunken Angel Shimura
  • Takeo Ito’s noirish cinematography
    Drunken Angel Cinematography

Must See?
Yes, as one of Kurosawa’s earliest triumphs. Listed as a film with Historical Importance in the back of Peary’s book.

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