Film

Theater of Life: Hishakaku
FILM

Theater of Life: Hishakaku

人生劇場 飛車角 (Jinsei Gekijo: Hishakaku)
U.S. Premiere!
Saturday, March 12, 2011

Theater of Life: Hishakaku © Toei Co. Ltd.



1963, 95 min., 35 mm, color, in Japanese with live English subtitles. Directed by Tadashi Sawashima. With Koji Tsuruta, Ken Takakura, Yoshiko Sakuma and Ryunosuke Tsukigata.

Tadashi Sawashima's Theater of Life launched the 1960s ninkyo eiga boom and is in many ways, the whole genre's blueprint. Hishakaku (Koji Tsuruta), as honorable a gangster as is humanly possible, is in love with Otoyo, a courtesan. But his obligations to the yakuza code keep them apart, not the least because of his stint in prison. During this time, Otoyo struggles against sinister gangsters who see her not as the sweetheart of a chivalrous gambler doing time for his gang, but as a simple commodity. The film made both Toei studio actors Koji Tsuruta and Ken Takakura superstars of the yakuza genre, though it's the fragile beauty of the actress Yoshiko Sakuma that impresses the most.

Part of the Globus Film Series:
Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence


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