Stray Dog

(Nora inu)


Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Isao Kimura, Keiko Awaji,

On a crowded bus in teeming downtown Tokyo, rookie policeman Murakami has his gun swiped. Fearful of losing his job, he embarks on a desperate search for the pickpocket. Murakami becomes a lone pilgrim in an underworld seething in the heat of summer and the crush of postwar shortages, rendered divinely hellish by Akira Kurosawa’s odd-angled lensing and staccato editing. The policeman’s anxiety is heightened as reports come in of murders attributed to the stolen pistol; a simple theft becomes a case of murder-by-doppelgänger. Kurosawa acknowledged his debt to French crime novelist Georges Simenon, but Stray Dog is typical of the director’s uncanny ability to mold genre to his own concerns. More than a hard-boiled thriller, Stray Dog is a Dostoyevskian saga of guilt, and expiation, by association.

—Judy Bloch

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  • Ryuzo Kikushima
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Asakazu Nakai
  • Japanese
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 122 mins
  • Janus Films