Subtle & undervalued metaphor of an aged gangster whose allegiances to code and honor are things forgotten in the yakuza world to which he returns after a three year sentence. The "Underworld Beauty" resides in those willing to uphold older codes against the younger and more aggressively selfish, particularly friend Mihara and his sister Akiko, played excitingly Shirake, whom is the saving link between this divide.
Wildly, and operatically expressionistic Suzuki that intoxicates with its high contrast tohoscope b/w imagery, its parade of nasty yakuza, and abused girl friend out for excessive revenge with diamonds that bind their precious murderous lust together. Complex story overwhelmed sometimes, but the bravura and ecstatic violence of the last 30 min are fabulous.
Early effort from Seijun Suzuki is not among his best. A servicable Japanese film noir melodrama with some nice black and white cinematography and an exciting shoot-em-up finale, but ultimately nothing special, though entertaining enough for noir fans.