Buichi Saitô, Japan, 1959, Arrow Films, Cult

“Elvis meets the Yakuza in this western inspired urban youth picture from the Japanese New Wave. THE RAMBLING GUITARIST‘s western influence is clear as soon as the opening credits, with Kobayashi crooning out a love song as he travels across a desert landscape extracted from a John Ford film. This was the era where the urban youth drama was en vogue –- where the only thing important was bucking the system and looking cool doing it.” -- Kelan Headley, Eastern Kicks

Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan, inaugurated a star system in the late 1950s, finding talent and contracting them to a series of wild genre pictures. These “Diamond Guys” films are relatively new to the U.S., and feature Nikkatsu’s leading talent at the peak of their game.

Megastar Akira Koabyashi (“the Japanese Elvis”) stars as wandering street musician Shinji, who falls in with mob boss Akitsu after saving one of his henchmen in a bar fight. Tasked with evicting an offshore fishery, Shinji finds himself in the middle of a very unusual domestic dispute.

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  • 77 mins
  • Color
  • 2.35:1


  • DCP