On November 27, 2007, the Criterion Collection released Drunken Angel on DVD. Akira Kurosawa directed the film which starred Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, and Reizaburô Yamamoto.
‘Drunken Angel’ Movie Summary
In post WWII Tokyo, a yakuza Matsunaga stumbles into Doctor Sanada’s office to have him remove a bullet from his hand. As the Doctor removes it, he tells Matsunaga that he has tuberculosis, and needs treatment before he dies from it. Matsunaga calls him a quack, and leaves to remain as the Yakuza’s leader. Eventually, he does his best to follow the doctor’s orders, and tries to quit drinking and smoking. It’s only when Matsunaga’s former boss, Okada, is released from prison that he starts drinking and smoking again, and his illness intensifies. Doctor Sanada goes to report Okada to the police after he threatens him and his nurse (Okada’s forced bride before prison), but Matsunaga believes their code of honor will get Okada to back off from his threats against the doctor. Matsunaga soon finds out that he’s just as helpless and expendable as everyone else in town.
- New, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Audio commentary featuring Japanese-film scholar Donald Richie
- A 30-minute documentary on the making of Drunken Angel, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
- Kurosawa and the Censors, a new, 25-minute video piece that looks at the challenges Kurosawa faced in making Drunken Angel
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by cultural historian Ian Buruma and excerpts from Kurosawa’s Something Like an Autobiography