Stray Dog

An Akira Kurosowa classic “Stray Dog” (1949) starring Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Awaji, and Isao Kimura among others.

The story starts with rookie police officer Detective Murakami (Toshiro Mifune) losing his colt gun in a busy jam packed tram. Upon realising his loss, he immediately gets down and pursues one guy, but loses him after some time. Amply commiserated, he reports his loss to his superiors who have a benign attitude towards him and give him some clues to follow.

He manages to snag the lady who was crushing him on the tram, but that trail proves to be cold. She advises him to roam the village looking for second hand gun and dealers will lead him to the right person. Doing that for many days in an exhausted and weary state, he finally manages to catch a woman who had sold the colt to somebody else for his ration card.

By now he is helped by senior inspector Sato (Takashi Shimura) and through his experience Murakami is able to make some head way. They come to know that one Honda is interested in baseball games, so they stakeout a baseball game and arrest him. He leads them to Yusa (Isao Kimura) who is a war veteran and frustrated and angry at lot of things. He has a girlfriend Harumi Namiki (Keiko Awaji) who refused to co-operate with the police first.

Fantastic acting by both Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune and they are the central characters in the movie throughout the camera dwells on them. Kimura and Awaji have short roles in the movie.

The cinematography and dialogues are quite excellent – way above what you can find for a 1949 movie. Its a bit of a noir film and the length is way too long.

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