Drunken Angel
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Originally titled Yoidore tenshi, Drunken Angel was director Akira Kurosawa's first "auteur" project. "I finally discovered myself," he explained later. "It was my picture: I was doing it and no one else." Takashi Shimura plays an alcoholic doctor, running a fleabitten clinic in the slums of Tokyo. Shimura tries to pull himself together long enough to save the life of young hoodlum Toshiro Mifune. The doctor feels that, by saving Mifune, he is retrieving a portion of his own lost youth and idealism. Kurosawa later observed that he had trouble corraling Tohsiro… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"On the whole his imagery is forceful."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Akira Kurosawa's first critical success (1948) is an odd blend of American film noir and Italian neorealism."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Brilliant filmmaking that remains powerful and moving today."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Drunken Angel has also been cited by Kurosawa as the film in which the immature director finally 'discovered' himself. We can all be grateful for that self-discovery."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Considered by many to be Akira Kurosawa's directorial breakthrough, the movie that introduced Kurosawa the artist to the world."
‑ Gary Dowell, Dallas Morning News
"A combination of "Open City" and "Mean Streets", as well as Kurosawa's first movie and the first one to use Toshiro Mifune."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Nothing that hasn't been done before in Hollywood, and in many cases better."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"It marked the first time that Akira Kurosawa directed Toshiro Mifune, but the results are excellent enough that you can see why their collaborations continued for decades."
‑ Jeremy Heilman, MovieMartyr.com
"It's effective in its own right and a fascinating preview of films to come."
‑ Keith Phipps, AV Club
"the first film to touch on many of Kurosawa's themes unfettered"
‑ Paul Brenner, Filmcritic.com
"Kurosawa's early stylistic experimentations turn a nightclub stopover into a monstrous parody of an American jitterbug dance-off, and when blood gets finally spilled, it's in a slip-and-slide Yakuza frenzy choreographed amid splattered paint."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Drunken Angel on Rotten Tomatoes