In postwar Japan, a cop has his gun stolen while riding a crowded city bus. There are few greater embarrassments, so he has no choice but to track down the weapon. Samurai movies aside, director Akira Kurosawa made several great crime dramas. Stray Dog is the first. It’s also the sweatiest. From the opening, postcredit shots, we see a white-suited Murakami (Kurosawa’s regular Toshiro Mifune) suffering his way through Tokyo’s heat wave, constantly mopping his brow with a handkerchief. As the movie progresses, it becomes less clear whether the perspiration is a result of the temperature or of his increasing desperation. Probably both.
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