Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Shizukanaru Ketto
Japan, 1949. Daiei Motion Picture Company,Daiei Studios, Film Art Association. Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Senkichi Taniguchi, based on the play by Kazuo Kikuta. Cinematography by Soichi Aisaka. Produced by Hisao Ichikawa, Sojiro Motoki. Music by Akira Ifukube. Production Design by Koichi Imai. Film Editing by Masanori Tsujii.
Akira Kurosawa’s admiration for the medical profession is once again at the centre of a rich, moving dramas. Toshirô Mifune is excellent as a doctor who runs his medical clinic with his father (Takashi Shimura), all the while putting off his marriage to his intended fiancee without giving either of them a good reason. The actual cause is an operation he performed during the war, during which he cut himself with a scalpel and was infected with his patient’s syphilis. He has to deal not only with the physical trauma of medication for his illness but also the shame, being, as he puts it, a man who is defiled without ever having indulged in any physical pleasures. The story is not overwhelming, but its effect is strong thanks to the wonderful, subtle nuances of the characters and the marvelous emotion behind all of it.