Friday, May 4 and Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 7:00PM
Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138The film that made Yujiro Ishihara a star and the Nikkatsu studio solvent, The Stormy Man stars Ishihara as Shoichi Kokubu, a young drummer who employs both his hands and his fists in the Ginza jazz world. His younger brother Eiji supports his ambitions and helps find him a manager in Fukushima Miyako, who is as sassy and smart as she is gorgeous. Their mother, however, is stubbornly opposed to Shoichi’s choice of careers—a constant source of pain for him and of annoyance for the audience.
Miyako takes Shoichi into her spacious Western-style house, where he can practice without disturbance. She also begins to take a more than professional interest in him, while maintaining her all-business facade. He feels the same tug—but his first priority is to beat Charley Sakurada, the best drummer in the Ginza and an arrogant wit with gang connections.
Released in the peak New Year’s season, The Stormy Man became the third biggest box-office hit of 1957. It also solidified Inoue’s reputation as a maker of hit musicals. For its young audience, who clapped and cheered as Ishihara sang “Ore wa dorama, yakuza na dorama” (“I’m a drummer, a no-good drummer”), the film was an event, a generational marker, and a much-revived classic. Today it still packs musical excitement—and presents Japan’s premier movie star at his most charismatic. Inoue remade the film for Shaw Brothers in Hong Kong as King Drummer (1967). – Adapted from Mark Schilling in Asia Sings! A Survey of Asian Musical Films.
Directed by Umetsugu Inoue. With Yujiro Ishihara, Kyoji Aoyama, Mie Kitahara
Japan 1957, DCP, color, 101 min. Japanese with English subtitles
General Admission Tickets $9, $7 Non-Harvard Students, Seniors, Harvard Faculty and Staff. Harvard students free. Special event tickets (for in-person appearances) are $12.Tickets go on sale 45 minutes prior to show time. The HFA does not do advance ticket sales.
Curated by Tom Vick and generously funded by the Inoue & Tsukioka Movie Foundation.
Special thanks: Sabrina Baracetti, Thomas Bertacche, Roger Garcia and Mark Schilling—the Far East Film Festival, Udine, Italy and the National Film Archive of Japan, Tokyo.