Stray Dog (The Criterion Collection)
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A classic crime film steeped in the vivid environs of postwar Tokyo, Stray Dog is arguably Akira Kurosawa's finest film preceding the international success of Rashomon. A classic theme--the identification between criminal and crime fighter--is presented here in one of its earliest incarnations, as a promising young detective (Toshiro Mifune) struggles to retrieve his stolen pistol. The missing gun is used in a robbery and murder, and Mifune's superior (Ikiru's Takashi Shimura) is caught in the case's volatile crossfire. As the detective closes in on his lethal alter ego, his own moral compass spins out of control, into a psychological tempest that inspires Mifune to give one of his best early performances. Using real locations and a sense of sweltering heat rivaled only by Do the Right Thing, Kurosawa (who first wrote this film as an unpublished novel inspired by an actual incident) maintains an atmosphere of lurid urgency perfectly suited to this riveting film noir scenario. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Stray Dog is an intense criminal story that examines the psychology of the characters as in compares the similarities between criminals and detectives. These similarities are balanced on a thin line based on choice, which Kurosawa dissects studiously through the camera lens. Kurosawa's investigation of the character's psychology creates a spiraling suspense that is enhanced through subtle surprises and brilliant cinematography. The camera use often displays shots through thin cloths, close ups, and new camera angles, which also makes the film aesthetically appealing. When Kurosawa brings together camera work and cast performance, among other cinematic aspects, he leaves the audience with a brilliantly suspenseful criminal drama, which leaves much room for introspection and retrospection.
Regarding the Criterion DVD, the image quality is really no better than a VHS tape. Occasionally scenes are quite dark or the picture is striped with dark lines. The DVD menu page is too dark and it was almost impossible to read the options. As usual, Criterion offers no subtitle options beyond English. And the price is tad lower, if still too high. But at least they have made it available.
Most recent customer reviews
Classic must watch if you enjoy film noir! Better than american versions on many levels of intellectPublished 5 months ago by Mary Lee Maynard
Another classic from the brilliant Kurosawa and with a stellar performance from the great Mifune. This movie is a character study of how a police detective goes about his job. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Nat Hawthorne
A young Tokyo cop has his handgun stolen. Driven to obsession he follows the trail of the pickpocket through the choppy underworld of 50s Tokyo in an attempt to regain his... Read morePublished on June 5 2004 by Nearly Nubile
Murakami (Toshirô Mifune), a young police officer in 1940s Tokyo, finds that his gun was stolen while he was riding a packed bus. Read morePublished on May 21 2004
The Criterion Collection will be releasing this movie for the first time ever on DVD. It will come out in May 2004. The retail price is $39. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004 by A Kurosawa Fan
I am not a Japanese film historian, so others can elaborate on that aspect. When it started, I wasn't sure I would take to this film, but it draws you in inexorably. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2001 by Archmaker
This is one of the most thoroughly entertaining movies I have ever seen! The first forty minutes are stunningly sleazy! A delight to the eyes and ears. Read morePublished on July 5 2001 by Penny N. Vilela
I foung this to be an absolutely fascinating film on several levels.
First, although we primarily associate Kurosawa with period films, this was one of his relatively few... Read more
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