Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Crimson Kimono

US © 1959 Columbia Pictures Corp. PC: Globe Enterprises, Inc. P+D+SC: Samuel Fuller. DP: Sam Leavitt. AD: William E. Flannery, Robert Boyle. Set dec: James A. Crowe. Cost: Bernice Pontrelli. Hair: Helen Hunt. M: Harry Sukman. Orch: Leo Shuken, Jack Hayes. S: John Livadary, John Westmoreland. ED: Jerome Thoms. Loc: Little Tokyo (Los Angeles). Cast: Victoria Shaw (Christine Downes), Glenn Corbett (detective sergeant Charlie Bancroft), James Shigeta (detective Joe Kojaku), Anna Lee (Mac), Paul Dubov (Casale), Jaclynne Greene (Roma), Neyle Morrow (Hansel / Paul Sand), Gloria Pall (Sugar Torch), Barbara Hayden (mother), George Yoshinaga (Willy Hidaka), Kaye Elhardt (nun), Aya Oyama (Sisar Gertrude). 82 min. A Sony Columbia print of the restored version viewed at Cinema Orion (the first screening of this film in Finland), Helsinki, 24 Nov 2010. - Revisited Samuel Fuller's low budget police thriller shot on location in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Seeing this after Verboten! it is interesting to notice that Fuller was obsessed in both to deal with recent WWII enemies in anti-hate films that confront racism and prejudice. Here the police team consists of a Caucasian and a Nisei. They are war buddies from Korea, where they have even exchanged blood, and now they live together. There is a ménage à trois with the artist Christine, and she selects the Japanese man. The Crimson Kimono is important in the way it resists and fights racial stereotypes, but the intensity level is not Fuller at his best. There is documentary value in the exterior scenes and fascinating passages in the interior scenes in Sam Leavitt's cinematography. There are fine jazz moments in Harry Sukman's score.

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