- Casino Royale Review
- Carrie (1976)
- Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
- Trainspotting (1996)
- Rain Man (1988)
- Fatal Attraction (1987)
- Targets (1968)
- An Education (2009)
- Mirror, The (1974)
- Fargo (1996)
- Fight Club (1999)
- Do The Right Thing (1989)
- Report (1967)
- Is "The Sting" The Best Gambling Film Ever Made?
- Pink Flamingos (1972)
- Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943), Or 28 Angry Men
- Rome, Open City (1945)
- Spring in a Small Town (1948)
- Drive (2011)
- Vinyl (1965)
- Seconds (1966)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
- A Hollywood Invasion of Casino Halls
- Thin Man, The (1934)
- In The Heat of the Night (1967)
- All In: The Poker Movie, Player’s Best Tricks
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- 1001 Club - Skyfall (2012)
- 1001 Club - When Harry Met Sally... (1988)
- 1001 Club - Rain Man (1988)
I Live In Fear (1955)
Genre: Drama (Japan)
Overview: When a man terrified of nuclear war plans to emigrate, his family attempts to declare him unfit in court.
The way I see it, Kurosawa excelled in two subjects, given that they were his career's primary focus: The Japanese medieval period Samurai film, and the modern post-war themed film.
I Live in Fear explores the very things that a post-war film set ten years later should.
We begins with an aging Nakajima (Mifune) being brought to court by his family. They're trying to declare him mentally unfit since his spending has become erratic. He's a well-to-do man who has built up a foundry and now, in his older days, has become fearful of the fallout that would strike Japan should it be faced again with a nuclear threat.
The evidence against him is fairly solid: he's already spent millions of yen in a land purchase and had begun building a bunker until discovering that he could not escape fallout. Even if the bombs did not strike Japan, the air currents would lead the poison right to him.
Now Nakajima plans on buying a farm in one of the few safe places that exist on Earth: Brazil. How a Japanese foundry owner would fare on Spanish farmland is, to him, a secondary consideration. His family, however, is concerned that he's sinking everything over an irrational fear of war, and is making their plea to the court that they hand over control of his money to them.
Overall themes circle around the question of one man's desire to guarantee his safety versus the well-being and quality of life of his family, who want to stay in Japan. As the story continues we see both selfish drives and moral quandaries that Kurosawa is good at conveying without providing clear answers.
With a solid conclusion and a well-written script, this drama is certainly one that belongs in a far less obscure place than it has found.
Performance: 8 Cinematography: 7 Script: 8 Plot: 8 Mood: 8
Overall Rating: 78% (Nothing To Worry About)
I can understand why this sank into obscurity and hence why it was so hard for me to secure a copy (Thanks so much, Pretty Pink Patty!), but as I see it the message is still ever-relevant today. From commentary on the extended family and the loss of social values to the ignorance of the past and how one's preparation for the worst case scenario of the future could lead to one man's peers seeing him as mentally ill, it's a beautifully constructed drama with the very real threat of nuclear war at its core. It's Kurosawa remembering the horror a decade later and keeping the fear fresh, reminding us that it isn't quite over for all of us.