Maboroshi No Misumi (1982)

Run Time - 164 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Michiko (Reiko Nanjo in her first role) is a good-looking, high-class prostitute working out of a "Turkish spa" along Kyoto's historic Lake Biwa, and her passion in life is long-distance running, something she enjoys with her canine companion, Shiro, a faithful stray and her closest friend. One day Shiro is intentionally killed and Michiko, shocked and upset, starts looking into who might have committed the horribly cruel and senseless crime. With the help of a variety of characters, including a fellow working for a research institute (presumably he is well-equipped to help out), she manages to track down and identify the killer as Keisuke Hinatsu (Masahiro Mitsuda), an emotionally unbalanced composer who is also an aficionado of long-distance running. That is Michiko's key to avenging her pet's untimely death -- and when she gets into her running gear, she is intent on making this jog Keisuke's last. Well, even the worst intentions often need more than one try. In the meantime, (this movie also has a long-distance run of nearly three hours), a decent young man named Kurata (Hatsunori Hasegawa), who handles Michiko's financial accounts and gave her her first pair of running shoes, proposes marriage and she accepts. Before the wedding can occur, she gets to know a young man who plays his flute in solitude on a hillside, dreaming of the day when he will be heard by a stunning woman and the two will fall in love. When he also proposes marriage to Michiko, she declines. Two days before her wedding, Keisuke shows up at the Turkish spa and Michiko, infuriated, takes off after him with knife in hand. She, in kimono, and he, in business suit, run like the devil through town while the jaded people on the street pay very little attention. Just when Michiko flags slightly, the ghost of her dead Shiro shows up to urge her onward -- and the long-distance runner gets her second wind with only a few minutes of running time left.

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Keywords

composer, dog, family-member, investigation, killing, revenge