Film Noir pictures often reflect the attitudes of a postwar America with cynical crime melodramas dripping in downbeat themes with scarred, often morally corrupt - or about to be corrupted - characters.
Here we have a Noir from the other side of the spectrum, the viewpoint of the Japanese, one of the 'losing' World War II nations. American G.I.s may have been coming back to a society that has moved on without them making it difficult for them to rejoin smoothly, but here is a country that has been beaten, demoralized and now has an invading foreign army watching over them.
While the U.S. forces stationed in Japan are nowhere to be found in Drunken Angel (there was a censorship board established to make sure that sort of content never made it on screen) this picture definitely reflects the effects of the physical, emotional and mental toll of a country trying to rebuild itself under the 'enemy's' watchful eye.
|The view outside the Doctor's home/office|
|Doctor Takashi Shimura removes a bullet from gangster Toshiro Mifune's hand - without anesthesia|
|Takashi Shimura's Doctor and Toshiro Mifune's Gangster share a mutual dislike of one another|
|Tuberculosis takes a toll on the gangster|
|You can try to take the man out of the Yakuza, but can you take the Yakuza out of the man?|
|A fight for power, or for redemption?|