I had kind of written this movie off in my head as a slighter, comic work of Kurosawa’s. However, I had forgotten the final moments of this movie. That last final instance of violence bring all the thematic weight of the film crashing down at once.
“In all my experience — and it goes back rather a long way — I’ve never known a time when there was so much crap around. It makes me very angry because those responsible are mostly idiots and charlatans. They know nothing about the cinema and they care very little, too. They just think in terms of ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ and ‘where’s the rooting interest?’ I thought that the swing to melodrama, frankly, would be over four or five years ago already. But it seems like the movies are becoming more formally the circus. It’s the bigger explosion and the wilder escape from the more pyrotechnical situation, and it’s not very rewarding for the actor when everything is either soap opera or pure melodrama or special effects. And by now it’s been going on for so long that the audience is unused to anything else.” —Jack Nicholson