Pale Flower (Kawaita hana) (1964)

Pale Flower (Kawaita hana) (1964)

Pale Flower (Kawaita hana)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Masahiro Shinoda's brilliant film opens with mobster Murakami just getting released from prison for murdering a member of a rival clan, only to learn that during his internment, the two syndicates arranged a truce. Not unlike the protagonist in Albert Camus' The Stranger, Murakami's motives for killing were vague and that life holds little value for him. At an illegal gambling parlor, he finds himself drawn to a mysterious waif-like young woman named Saeko (Mariko Kaga) who lives life from one … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Masahiro Shinoda, Ataru Baba
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 18, 2003
Criterion Collection

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as Murakami

as Saeko
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Critic Reviews for Pale Flower (Kawaita hana)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Director Masahiro Shinoda takes lots of chances, using close-ups and off-kilter edits to deepen his characters. A jazzy, avant-garde score throws things even more off balance.

Full Review… | June 5, 2011

Pale Flower sits comfortably as one of the darker noir films ever made

Full Review… | June 4, 2011
Paste Magazine

They get no kicks from champagne.

Full Review… | May 16, 2011
Movie Metropolis

a lost yakuza classic, part Bob Le Flambeur, part Rebel Without a Cause, but with an ecstatic blankness all its own.

Full Review… | August 2, 2007
Eye for Film

One of the best and most powerful yakuza films ever made.

Full Review… | May 31, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Pale Flower (Kawaita hana)

a fresh, unique take on the yakuza films of that time. the characters are not atypical, but the focus of this story really is. clan rivalry and looming violence permeates the story but the heart of it is about a romanticism that never quite finds its expression. the film is about the romantic timidity of otherwise confident and assertive people. the climax is so effective as we never really find out what we thought we wanted to know about "the pale flower" of the gangster world, but we're somehow ok with that because our main character is ok with that. a great film.

danny d

Super Reviewer

*sigh* '64 not '74. in a lonely place as directed by melville and set in tokyo

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

While the French were creating the new wave movement of the 50s-60s, Japanese studios were turning out bold, fresh, new films. The yakuza drama is as old as Japanese cinema itself, but director Masahiro Shinoda joins it with expressionism and shadowy western noir themes that lean more towards fate and love than your average gangster flick.

El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

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