Japanese Title: Hateshinaki yokubo
Directed: Shohei Imamura
Genre: Drama | Black Comedy
Runtime: 101 Min.
Cast: Shizuko Kasagi, Tomiko Hattori, Kayo Matsuo, Hiroyuki Nagato, Misako Watanabe
Crackerjack black comedy showcasing early development of Imamura’s style. A group of would-be criminals team up with an ambitious woman to tunnel under a business and rob it. Their descent into the (literal) underworld is played out with a noirish style that pokes fun at the genre while using it in incredibly effective ways, and the editing rhythms that develop are uncommon for the late 50s and have more in common with early-60s Suzuki. Misako Watanabe (who isn’t on the IMDb cast list) is the standout in a really dynamic performance as the vicious femme fatale. Still, this is minor Imamura, will be of great interest to his fans but is still very effective as a comedy-thriller and will appeal to casual viewers also.