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.Written by
Bernard Keane <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>
In early drafts of the script, the story was almost entirely about Doctor Sanada (Takashi Shimura) and Matsunaga the thug (Toshirô Mifune) was a small supporting part. However, Akira Kurosawa was so impressed with Mifune's performance that he greatly increased the Matsunaga part, to the point where the Doctor and Matsunaga are almost equal in screen-time. See more »
When Matsunaga wakes up in Nanae's bed, he has a wet compress on his chest, under the pajama shirt. When he sits up and takes it off, it is on top of his shirt. See more »
It is easy to fall in the mud, how difficult it is to leave
Happy encounter between master Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune great actor. Started the shooting of the film, the script was fully focused on the character of Dr. Sanada, a temperamental physician, sharp and heavy drinker, but at the same time noble and condescending, who played the wise actor Takashi Shimura, member of the filmic family of Japanese director. It was to show the ambivalent relationship of singular physician with some of his patients, and Mifune's character, a gangster named Matsunaga, who arrives to take you off a "nail", was intended as one more among Sanada's patients... but behold, the amazing performance of Toshiro delighted the visionary director leaves, and soon, his character is extended to the point of putting one on one with which interprets Shimura. And thus would begin a relationship that would lead to outstanding a number of films that are today the most significant part of which gave us the Far East ("Stray Dog", "Rashomon", "Seven Samurai", "Throne of Blood", "Yojimbo", "Red Beard"...).
The story is set in a poor village, where gangsterism is a source of survival and power. The rain water inundated streets unpaved, and the mud then, becomes a leitmotif for Kurosawa reveals the sinking of being in the midst of alcohol and irresponsibility, and perhaps, the abandonment of a State for all miss opportunities.
The Sanada and Matsunaga characters, move in an interesting love-hate, I accept you-you rejection, live and die, that accounts for human ambivalence where what seems is not as it seems.
The doctor's character is also quite interesting, because he realizes the man with no pretensions, no worries of enrichment, and the ability to perform so naturally, falls in the act shamelessly unfair, in the sentence harsh and in the alcohol allows him to escape, at times, a reality that don't is offering great prospects.
It is thus a portrait of ordinary people, viewed sympathetically and with the clearest assessment features. It is clear that Kurosawa, knew well the people.
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