Drunken Angel

Drunken Angel

Downloadable Video - 1948
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After a battle with rival criminals, a small-time gangster is treated by an alcoholic doctor in post-war Japan. The doctor diagnoses the young gangster's tuberculosis, and convinces him to begin treatment for it. The two enjoy an uneasy friendship until the gangster's former boss is released from prison and seeks to take over his gang once again. The ailing young man loses his status as gang boss and becomes ostracised, and eventually confronts his former boss in a battle to the death.
Publisher: [Japan]: , Films sans frontières (Firm) [distridutor], , [1948]
Copyright Date: ©1948
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (1 hr. 34 min. 4 sec.)) : sound, color


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Jan 14, 2017

For most viewers, the great Japanese director will also be identified with the samurai film, a genre he basically defined in films like "Seven Samurai," "The Hidden Fortress," and "Yojimbo."
Yet his 30 films show a filmmaker with more range than expected and include social dramas, Shakespeare adaptations, crime films, and even a love story. He started making films in the 1940s and most of those films show him searching for his style and subject. 1948's "Drunken Angel" is an important film for him, as he felt he found his voice and it was the first of his many collaborations with actor Toshiro Mifune, who starred in most of his iconic films. Set in post-war Japan, "Drunken Angel" is part social drama and part yakuza film. Mifune plays a tubercular gangster who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a compassionate, but alcoholic doctor, played by Takashi Shimura, another Kurosawa regular. Set in a ramshackle, slummy neighborhood, the center of which is a toxic looking pond, "Drunken Angel" is also a look at the devastation of postwar Japan and the cynical blackmarket the emerged. It has something in common with other films set in the period ("Gate of Flesh," "The Sun's Burial") and with Kurosawa films like "Red Beard" and "The Lower Depths." If you haven't seen much Kurosawa, this isn't the film to begin with, but Kurosawa fans will find much to appreciate. Oh, it was shot in black and white (as all of his films were until the 70s), so the comment below criticizing it for being in b & w is irrelevant and somewhat idiotic.

Jul 05, 2016

Couldnt finish watching either time Ive borrowed it. Sound is bad, not in colour & subtitles are small. Not going to try a third time, I get the gist from the synapsis & peoples comments.

Feb 02, 2016

A young Toshiro Mifune in his third film plays an often drunk young yakuza who has TB in a very poor post-war Japan. Takashi Shimura, the wonderfu actor of Ikiru fame, is a doctor who ministers to the poor and down-and-out including Mifune, although Mifune is often resistant. The doctor is also harboring the ex-girlfriend of a rival of MIfune's, who has recently gotten out of jail and wants her back. Great acting and cinematography.

Dec 05, 2014

With his ramshackle clinic situated meaningfully between bombed out ruins and a toxic cesspool (across the street from the ironically named "Happy Market") gruffly compassionate doctor Sanada does his best to help Tokyo's downtrodden despite the fact he enjoys more than a drop of sake now and then. But when violent gangster Matsunaga (the great Toshiro Mifune) shows up at his door suffering from tuberculosis Sanada makes it his mission to not only cure the man's disease but turn his life around as well. Sadly, the past has a way of dogging people and sometimes the best of intentions cannot stop someone from continuing on the path they've chosen. Kurosawa's ruminations on the post WWII Japanese zeitgeist is evident throughout this brooding drama as Sanada's wry comments and occasional lecture on corruption and complacency speak more to the audience than the criminal in his office. Oppressive images of rot and chaos are lightened somewhat by a faint undertone of optimism as a minor character makes her own life-altering decision and one young schoolgirl, a former patient, proudly flaunts her clean bill of health. A classic.

Sep 27, 2011

Great treatment on the Yakuza brotherhood, social diversity and the role of a doctor during post WW II Japan:


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