7.2/10
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3 user 16 critic

Black River (1957)

Kuroi kawa (original title)
A love triangle develops between a benevolent student, his innocent girlfriend, and a cruel petty criminal, all as a point of diagnosis of a social disease that had Japan slowly succumbing to lawlessness during the post-War era.

Director:

Masaki Kobayashi

Writers:

Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay), Takeo Tomishima (story)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Fumio Watanabe Fumio Watanabe ... Nishida
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Jo
Ineko Arima ... Shizuko
Keiko Awaji ... Okada's Wife
Asao Sano Asao Sano ... Sakazaki
Seiji Miyaguchi ... Kin
Tomo'o Nagai Tomo'o Nagai ... Okada
Eijirô Tôno ... Kurihara
Isuzu Yamada ... Landlady
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Natsuko Kahara
Chisato Kasuga Chisato Kasuga
Yôko Katsuragi Yôko Katsuragi
Kôichi Kitami Kôichi Kitami
Masao Kiyomizu Masao Kiyomizu
Sue Mitobe Sue Mitobe
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Storyline

Perhaps Kobayashi's most sordid film, Black River is an exposé of the rampant corruption on and around U.S. military bases following World War II. Kobayashi spirals out from the story of a love triangle that develops between a good-natured student, his innocent girlfriend, and a coldhearted petty criminal (Tatsuya Nakadai, in his first major role) to diagnose a social disease that had Japan slowly succumbing to lawlessness, devolving into gangsterism, violence, and prostitution. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

23 October 1957 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Black River See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ninjin Club, Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Godzilla (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Film noirish look at post war Japanese squalor
5 February 2006 | by HEFILMSee all my reviews

The story is set around an American Air Force base which has attracted bars and brothels and the native Japanese who need this sordid world to scape by and make money to just barely survive. A love triangle develops among the dwellers of a falling down apartment building and a local gangster called Killer Joe.

It's a fascinating slice of life with engaging vivid seedy characters, these type of shanty towns always develop around military bases, I can't think of any other films I've seen that take place there. It's a rare look into the postwar lower middle class and lower end criminal element in Japan. Fast moving and convincing well worth watching if you can find it. Memorable ending and last image to a memorable film.


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