Re: RARA-AVIS: a question

From: Anders Engwall (
Date: 16 Nov 2000

Juri Nummelin:

> On Wed, 15 Nov 2000, Mark Sullivan wrote:
> > While not taking a stand on the overall debate over whether or not
> > Yojimbo is drawn from Red Harvest (I haven't read it recently enough to
> > be sure whether or not it goes beyond surface resemblances), I think
> > it's pretty clear that Kurosawa had some knowledge of American crime
> > novels. He filmed Ed McBain's King's Ransom (as High and Low in the
> > US).
> The McBain novel was a contemporary one, while Hammett's wasn't. Not
> that makes any difference, but it's more likely that "King's Ransom" was
> translated into Japanese in the sixties (the movie is from 1963) than
> "Red Harvest" in the fifties.

Then again, did McBain really have any status as a
"real" author back then? I of course don't know how he was regarded in Japan, but in Sweden he was essentially unknown in 1963 -- just another one of all those obscure paperback hacks. Hammett, OTOH, might very well have been regarded as a classic.

> Having said this, Kurosawa showed great skill of capturing the film noir
> mood in his "Hungry Dog" ("Nora Inu", is it "Stray Dog" in
> English?) which is from 1948.

There's also the one with Toshiro Mifune as a gangster with tuberculosis, whatever the English title is. Fine stuff.

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