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A young executive hunts down his father's killer in director Akira Kurosawa's scathing The Bad Sleep Well. Continuing his legendary collaboration with actor Toshiro Mifune, Kurosawa combines elements of Hamlet and American film noir to chilling effect in exposing the corrupt boardrooms of postwar corporate Japan.
The Bad Sleep Well tells the story of corruption at the highest levels of Japanese business and its tragic consequences. Though flawed by a tedious introductory sequence and by an ending that seems out of sync with the story, it is a fascinating movie and the middle part is especially exciting.
Japanese legend Toshiro Mifune plays Koichi Nishi, the seemingly stoic bridegroom who is trying to get ahead by marrying the boss's daughter, Kieko (Kyoko Kagawa), who was crippled as a girl. The bride's brother, in a shocking display, exposes the groom's motives during his wedding toast and threatens his new brother-in-law with death if he disappoints his sister. But Nishi is not who we think. He was born the illegitimate son of the man who Kieko's father, Iwabuchi (Maysayuki Mori), manipulated into suicide. Now Nishi wants revenge for his father's death. As Nishi slowly destroys Iwabuchi's life, he makes the fatal error of falling in love with his wife, who already loves him. Their unconsummated marriage stands between these two like a palpable pillar of stone. But just when we think the stone has been tossed aside by love, Iwabuchi finds out who his son-in-law really is.
Shot in black and white, this film falls just short of being brilliant. Mifune is amazing in his portrayal of this complex man who lets his father's past destroy his own future, and Maysayuki Mori's performance as the evil Iwabuchi is understated but nonetheless chilling. --Luanne Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I can't believe the other reviewers were reviewing the same dvd. This is a great movie, don't get me wrong. It's Kurasawa, after all. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2005 by James Field
Unless you are a die-hard Kurosawa fan or an Ed McBain fan, this film is not a great one. Nowhere near the brilliance of other Kurosawa modern-day films like High & Low, Stray Dog... Read morePublished on April 15 2003 by Vinny Mac
I thought-someone told me that-Ed McBain was the writer of the short story,where the movie was based on.That's why I bought it. Read morePublished on March 1 2002 by Amazon Customer
It is unfortunate that Luanne Brown's editorial review of The Bad Sleep Well is so negative. The beginning is no more "tedious" or "flawed" than the ending is... Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2001 by Dax
"The Bad Sleep Well" is a great movie. Imagine taking the major characters of "Hamlet," and casting them in a new plot. Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2001 by Zack Davisson
This represents Kurosawa at the height of his game. Everything 'works' in this movie! The acting as usual is fabulous. The cinematography is great. The music fits perfectly. Read morePublished on Oct. 15 2001
It amazes me how contempory Kurosawa's movies are. The plot and characters in this film are as believable today as they were forty years ago. Boy, does this film run hot and cold! Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2001 by Penny N. Vilela
There really were cover-up suicides by government officials at the time this movie was made. So this movie is also a sort of social commentary; the only such movie by Kurosawa. Read morePublished on June 25 1999 by Hitoshi Noguchi