Stray Dog, Akira Kurosawa (1949)

Ostensibly a procedural about a rookie cop (Mifune, so young I didn’t recognize him at first!) whose gun is stolen, the movie’s as much or more about Japan’s effort to regain its self-respect. Terrific, near-genius cinematography; the camera itself behaves like an investigator. Featuring many wonderful sequences, including one at a baseball game and another at a cabaret on an unbearably hot summer night. The chorus girls run off stage and into their dressing room, where they all collapse on the floor, fanning themselves. Really top notch Kurosawa; I’m surprised I’ve never seen this before.

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