Pale Flower (1964)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama, Gangster Film  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Masahiro Shinoda's brilliant film opens with mobster Murakami just getting released from prison for murdering a member of a rival clan, only to learn that during his internment, the two syndicates arranged a truce. Not unlike the protagonist in Albert Camus' The Stranger, Murakami's motives for killing were vague and that life holds little value for him. At an illegal gambling parlor, he finds himself drawn to a mysterious waif-like young woman named Saeko (Mariko Kaga) who lives life from one thrill to the next. Though she seems remarkably adept at losing large sums of money, she asks Murakami to find games with larger and larger stakes. Soon they become involved in an intense mutually destructive relationship. High stakes gambling and racing her little sports car eventually grow tiresome, and Saeko becomes attracted to drugs. Instead of dope, Murakami offers to let her watch him kill a rival clan leader, describing it as the ultimate thrill.

Characteristics

Themes

Keywords

gangster, gambling, drugs

Attributes

High Artistic Quality, High Production Values