The Bad Sleep Well (1960)

AKIRA KUROSAWA

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

Japan, 1960, .  Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, , , , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Akira Kurosawa, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by Akira Kurosawa.

Stunning drama by Akira Kurosawa that features giving one of his sharpest performances. The film opens with his marriage to the daughter of his boss, the owner of a wealthy corporation that has dirty involvement with corrupt government contracts. After high-ranking members of the company are arrested in connection with the company’s nefarious dealings, we learn that Mifune is actually the one spilling the beans on his colleagues. He is actually the son of a man who committed suicide in shame over his involvement with these bad guys, and Mifune has infiltrated their family in order to get his revenge. The film’s spare visual style is the opposite of Kurosawa’s raggedy samurai epics, instead dominated by smooth, clean lines and cold, austere rooms as one man fights for the redemption of his soul while everyone else is just desperate to survive. It’s a riveting experience from beginning to end.

The Criterion Collection:  #319

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