The Crimson Kimono (1959)
Crimson Kimono stars Glenn Corbett and James Shigeta as Korean War army buddies, working side by side with the LA homicide squad. When stripper Gloria Pall is murdered, Corbett and Shigeta are sent to investigate. Both are smitten by the lovely Victoria Shaw, who is implicated in the crime. Corbett becomes jealous of Shigeta, who is deeply hurt, feeling that Corbett's animosity is borne of racism. Their friendship, and the central romance, is resolved after the detectives bring the murderer to heel in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. Samuel Fuller's love of oriental exotica is never more pronounced than in the climactic sequences, staged before the backdrop of the Japanese New Year celebration. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Crimson Kimono
... filmed with great moments of location atmosphere, [this] is one of Fuller's most striking commentaries on race.
The Crimson Kimono is mostly a hard-boiled cop thriller, but also manages to make a defiant anti-racist statement without ever getting on a soapbox.
Beyond the preponderance of sweaty close-ups and rat-a-tat-tat cutting in Fuller's films, his peacetime cinema views relationships as a string of tribal skirmishes.
Harry Sukman's score courts condescension whenever the action shifts to Little Tokyo, but it's the film's only slip.
Audience Reviews for The Crimson Kimono
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Crimson Kimono", a stripper, Sugar Torch, is shot and killed on Main Street in Los Angeles. Since a witness cannot make a postive identifcation of the killer, the two detectives assigned to the case, Charlie Bancroft(Glenn Corbett) and Joe Kojaku(James Shigeta), have little to go on. The only clues they have are a painting in Sugar's dressing room and the knowledge that she was working on a Japanese themed act for Las Vegas. Kojaku talks to an martial arts acquaintance who was set to be featured in the act while Joe talks to a painter friend, Mac(Anna Lee).[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Crimson Kimono" gets off to a good start and has memorable characters to spare but eventually the mystery takes a back seat to the personal lives of the lead characters. It does help that both halves of the movie dovetail nicely at the end. The movie is far ahead of its time in its depiction of the Asian-American community in general, and the Japanese-American community specifically. [/font]
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