In a poor district of Tokyo, Kochiyama Soshun is leader of a yazuka gang and earns money by betting while his wife, Oshizu, runs a tavern. Although often embroiled in fights, duels and shady deals, Soshun is someone who does not think twice about sacrificing himself for others. – BFI
Yamanaka directed scores of great films but only a few remain in existence today. For this reason, he is known as the “Phantom Genius of Film.” Indeed, not one of the silent movies he has directed remains today in its entirety. With the help of his elder schoolmate, Masaharu Makino, Yamanaka entered the Script Department of Makino Film Productions in 1927. However, since his real ambition was to enter the Directing Department, the next year he moved to Arashi Kanjuro Productions as screenplay staff/assistant director. Yamanaka first gained attention as a screenwriter with his original screenplay for Raishin no Ketsuen (1929). After Arashi Kanjuro Productions went bankrupt, he continued working with the same staff and went on to write the screenplay for Umontorimonocho Rokuban Tegara (1930) and other films. His directorial debut, 1932’s Dakine no Nagadosu, entered the Top Ten soon after release. Between 1932 and 1937, he directed no less than eight films which… read more
Yamanka is well served by a talented ensemble cast in a film adapted from a well-known Kabuki drama and set in the underworld of old Edo. The story concerns the theft of a sword and the attempts of the thief's sister, portrayed by a very young Setsuko Hara, to protect him. Though not quite up to the standards of Yamanaka's two other surviving films, this is still a visually splendid and enjoyable viewing experience..