|Genre: Drama, Psychodrama, Suspense, Doctor, Gangsters|
Plot: In this classic film noir, set in postwar Japan, Toshir˘ Mifune plays Matsunaga, a tough small-time gangster who takes a bullet during a fight in the slums of Tokyo. He makes his way to the office of Sanada (Takashi Shimura), a disillusioned yet passionate doctor, who treats the wound and, in the process, discovers Matsunaga has an even bigger ailment--tuberculosis. As Sanada hounds Matsunaga into dealing with his disease, the alcoholic physician and the arrogant thug form an uneasy friendship. Meanwhile, Matsunaga's mobster boss, Okada (Reisaburo Yamamoto), is released from prison with aspirations of rejuvenating his rough-and-tumble crew. Once Matsunaga is discovered ill, he's excluded from the gang, leaving him shunned by his peers with a seriously bruised ego. In an act of vengeance, he confronts Okada, leading to a violent standoff that only one man will survive.
DRUNKEN ANGEL marks the first major screen role for Mifune, one of Japan's most revered actors. And although Kurosawa had made numerous movies before this production, the director himself recognized it as his first truly distinct and personally satisfying motion picture. Kurosawa skillfully sets the tone by focusing on the seedy elements of the surroundings, and, even more importantly, he lets Mifune run wild as
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