Asian Americans -- California -- Los Angeles -- Drama, Interracial dating -- United States -- Drama, Japanese Americans -- Drama, Man-woman relationships, Murder -- Investigation -- California -- Drama

The Crimson Kimono

Archival 35mm Print


Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta, Anna Lee, Victoria Shaw,

“He was a scoundrel. He was a liar. He was a bullshit artist. He was a writer,” Fuller said of Honoré de Balzac. Fuller was, of course, all of these, too, as well as a genuine eccentric: a writer-director of major motion pictures that were by nature B films with the flavor of tabloid reporting, and manifestly pro-American, yet critical of his country’s violence and racism. In The Crimson Kimono, Fuller uses Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo as the backdrop for a sympathetic portrayal of interracial romance imbedded in a police melodrama about the murder of a nightclub stripper. Two detectives, one white (Glenn Corbett) and one Japanese American (James Shigeta), fall in love with a white artist (Victoria Shaw) whom they meet in the course of the investigation. Competition brings out neuroses born from racial stress and cultural ambivalence, which Fuller examines head-on and reinforces by using location shooting, including a chase down Little Tokyo’s streets during a Japanese New Year festival. Fuller’s characters are ambivalent, but the director celebrates both diversity and racial unity in a rare moment of optimism. 

  • Samuel Fuller
  • Sam Leavitt
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 82 mins
  • Academy Film Archive
  • Swank Motion Pictures

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Samuel Fuller (program note), Institut Valencià de l'Audiovisual i de Cinematografia Ricardo Muñoz Suay, Quim Casas, 2010

The crimson kimono (program note), San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, Taro Goto, 2006

The crimson kimono (Samuel Fuller, USA, 1959) (review), San Francisco Bay Guardian, Kimberly Chun, 2006

The crimson kimono (program note), Freer & Sackler Exhibitions and Events, 2005

Sam Fuller's Asia (program note), Freer & Sackler Exhibitions and Events, 2005

Pulp fictions: the films of Samuel Fuller (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, James Quandt, 1998

Un Americain en Normandie: le jour j de Samuel Fuller (press kit), GMT Productions, Noël Simsolo, 1994

Excerpt from an interview with Sam Fuller (before he shot The naked kiss) (program note), 1969

Crimson kimono, The (review), Monthly Film Bulletin, P.J.D., 1960

The crimson kimono (review), Variety, Powe., 1959

Displaying 10 of 13 publicly available documents.

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