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1,632 Ratings

Stray Dog

Nora inu

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Japan, 1949
Drama, Crime, Film noir


When a pickpocket steals a rookie detective’s gun on a hot, crowded bus, the cop goes undercover in a desperate attempt to right the wrong. Kurosawa’s thrilling noir probes the squalid world of postwar Japan and the nature of the criminal mind.

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Stray Dog Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Critics reviews

Driving forward even as the characters wander in circles, his camera is all swift pans and hard curves, one sinewy composition after another. A long take of Mifune sharing a beer with an affably hardboiled pickpocket (melancholy harmonica player in the foreground) unfolds as a languid dolly-in casually punctuated by a glimpse of a summer night’s starry sky.
April 01, 2013
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Coming just before RASHOMON, his breakthrough into more serious filmmaking, STRAY DOG finds Kurosawa at the peak of his craft before reaching for even greater thematic heights. The movie is a gripping, often intense detective story built around a rich depiction of post-war Tokyo.
May 21, 2010
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What are people saying?

  • SpacePirate's rating of the film Stray Dog

    A sort of by the numbers style noir but through the eyes of a master. A tight gripping tale, which I would say is in similar vein to his later High and Low. Mifune is as usual totally excellent, as is the actor from Ikiru whose name escapes me. My only gripe about the film is it is a bit long in spots in setting up certain scenes, but the overall payoff makes you stop quibbling. Another masterstroke from Kurosawa.

  • Alexander Dunkelberger's rating of the film Stray Dog

    The heat in the film doesn’t only cause the characters to sweat desperation and drive, but makes the film itself sweat style, feeling, and pure cinema as well. It’s a captivating and exciting tale of redemption and guilt, and is clearly an influence on the kind of crime stories and editing styles of films to come later, having absorbed film noir of the times and turned it out into a different kind of element.

  • Dale Wittig's rating of the film Stray Dog

    Kurosawa's third film with Toshiro Mifune presents post World War Tokyo and a young cop's desperation to keep from slipping into the chaos all around him. Having had his gun stolen by a pickpocket and sold to his doppelganger, the cop travels through the underworld of a defeated society to a final, exhausted and very violent, confrontation in a field of flowers as a woman in a nearby house practices the piano.

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Stray Dog

    Another good example of why most cops shouldn't be carrying guns: they get stolen, usually through negligence. Several hundred guns were stolen from S.F. Bay Area cops in the last few years, including M-16 assault rifles. U.C. Berkeley Police Chief left her gun visible in her personal car when it got stolen. Oakland P.D. won't even say how many of their guns are missing. Gun control should start with cops.

  • Graveyard Poet's rating of the film Stray Dog

    Stray Dog is overly slow during most of the movie (the interrogations drag on for far too long). The story does not pick up steam until the last 10 minutes when Toshiro Mifune's cop finally confronts the killer/thief who stole his gun.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Stray Dog

    Nice little crime thriller, despite the moralizing and the over-explanations. It's really Takashi Shimura's film, because his performance is well balanced, despite the stupid things the scriptwriters make him say. "Bad guys are bad." Mifune only really finds his stride in his next Kurosawa film Rashomon.

  • Dave's rating of the film Stray Dog

    My main, and really only, complaint I have concerning the story is that I have problems feeling much connection to a detective who has his gun lifted by a pickpocket and then is reduced to tears multiple times in the investigation to recover it. Still, the filmmaking prowess cannot be denied in this good, but not great, Kurosawa film.

  • Pierluigi Puccini's rating of the film Stray Dog

    Intense japanese post-war drama heavily inspired by the crudeness of american film-noir and, on a smaller degree, by the italian neorealism. Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune are great as the veteran detective and his companion, respectively. There are some excellent moments of suspense, like the baseball game and the train station climax.

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