The primary, initial plot is one of a man's revenge for his father's killing, but the entire story integrates all involved characters so that the viewer himself feels caught up in the events.
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The review of this Movie prepared by Podma Pettit
The daughter of the president of a government housing corporation marries her father's secretary, Koichi Nishi (Mifune). During the reception there are several disturbing references to a mysterious death of an executive that occurred five years before and was ruled a suicide. Members of the press hover as current executives are detained by the police for questioning in a possible bribery and kickback scheme involving huge government contracts. Several more executives receive strong hints from the corporation to kill themselves; one succeeds, but the other is saved by Nishi and thereafter used as part of his plan to get revenge on the executives who caused his father's death (it turns out his father was the one who died five years before). Nishi also finds he has fallen in love with the woman he married mainly to get access to his enemies. Can he locate the stolen funds and turn the murderous businessmen in to the authorities before they identify and liquidate him? This cool, depressing Kurosawa film about corruption dates from 1960, and has been likened to "Enron meets Hamlet."
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
Although mainly known in this country for historical subjects like The Seven Samurai or Ran, Akira Kurosawa directed a number of socially critical films about contemporary Japanese life. In the Bad Sleep Well--adapted from a novel by Ed McBain--a young man marries the boss's daughter as part of a scheme for taking revenge on the influential businessmen who forced his father to commit suicide. Leisurely paced, bitterly ironic, the movie employs an almost arid visual style, with hard-edged black and white images of Tokyo that perfectly complement its portrayal of corruption in high places. Although made in 1960, the film anticipates American movies of the 1970s about crime among the rich and powerful--like Chinatown--to an astonishing degree.
The review of this Movie prepared by Dave C