Bad Sleep Well

The Bad Sleep Well

4.5 4
Director: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Kenjiro Ishiyama, Masayuki Kato

     
 

Akira Kurosawa's powerful story of corruption and murder in the boardrooms of Japanese commerce gets a long overdue release on North American DVD with is top-shelf release from The Criterion Collection. Warui Yatsu Hodo Yoku Nemuru (aka The Bad Sleep Well) has been given a widescreen transfer to disc, letterboxed on standard monitors at the aspect ratio…  See more details below

Overview

Akira Kurosawa's powerful story of corruption and murder in the boardrooms of Japanese commerce gets a long overdue release on North American DVD with is top-shelf release from The Criterion Collection. Warui Yatsu Hodo Yoku Nemuru (aka The Bad Sleep Well) has been given a widescreen transfer to disc, letterboxed on standard monitors at the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and enhanced for 16 x 9 playback on widescreen equipment. Telecine supervisor Lee Kline has done an especially fine job with this title, capturing the deep-focus details and sharp contrasts of Yuzuru Aizawa's camerawork with commendable accuracy. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono; the dialogue is in Japanese, with optional English subtitles that are clear and easy to read. As a bonus, this edition includes the film's original theatrical trailer as well as a 33-minute episode from the series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create which focuses on the making of The Bad Sleep Well and features insightful interviews with members of the cast and crew. Finally, the accompanying booklet features perceptive essays on the movie from filmmaker Michael Almereyda and author Chuck Stephens. Criterion's DVD releases are widely regarded as the gold standard of home video, and this simple but carefully executed disc is a fine example of their determination to do right by every film they release, and it's an impressive achievement.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Akira Kurosawa takes on corporate corruption in Japan with a nod to Shakespeare's Hamlet. The concept of honor, is often at the center of Kurosawa's work, as well as a sense of outrage on behalf of the exploited. Both figure prominently here as Koichi Nishi (Toshiro Mifune), plans to exact revenge for the death of his father, a corporate executive who was forced to commit suicide by his colleagues. In the famed opening wedding sequence, analogous to Hamlet's play-within-a-play, an enormous wedding cake in the shape of the corporation's office building reveals the manner of the man's suicide, shocking the guests. The Darwinian atmosphere of Japan's feudalistic corporate world is laid open for inspection and condemnation by the director, as Mifune tries to destroy the company from within. Coupled with the later High and Low (1962) it suggests the high cost of idealism in the midst of corruption. It can be difficult to adjust to Mifune in a business suit, and the relative restraint of his swift economical gestures, but he's again magnificent in part utterly unlike the samurai work for which he's known. The film has a stark, contrasty look, which, along with Kurosawa's characteristic geometric cuts, seems to suggest the moral absolutism of his vision.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/10/2006
UPC:
0037429207529
Original Release:
1960
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Wide Screen]
Time:
2:30:00
Sales rank:
33,827

Special Features

New, restored high-definition digital transfer; A 33-minute documentary on the making of The Bad Sleep Well; Original theatrical trailer; New and improved English subtitle translation; New essays by film critic Chuck Stephens and director Michael Almereyda

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Toshiro Mifune Koichi Nishi
Kenjiro Ishiyama Det. Taguchi
Masayuki Kato Actor
Ko (Isao) Kimura Det. Arai
Tatsuya Nakadai Insp. Tokuro
Yutaka Sada Aoki, chauffeur
Yoshio Tsuchiya Det. Murata
Tsutomu Yamazaki Ginji Takeuchi, kidnaper
Chishu Ryu Nonaka
Seiji Miyaguchi Okakura
Nobuo Nakamura Lawyer
Susumu Fujita Commissioner
Koji Mitsui Journalist
Kamatari Fujiwara Wada
Kyoko Kagawa Kieko
Takeshi Kato Itakura
Tatsuya Mihashi Tatsuo Iwabuchi
Masayuki Mori Iwabuchi
Akira Nishimura Shirai
Kyu Sazanka Kaneko
Gen Shimizu Miura
Takashi Shimura Moriyama

Technical Credits
Akira Kurosawa Director,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter
Yuzuru Aizawa Cinematographer
Shinobu Hashimoto Screenwriter
Eijiro Hisaita Screenwriter
Ryuzo Kikushima Screenwriter
Shinobu Muraki Production Designer
Yoshiro Muraki Art Director
Hideo Oguni Screenwriter
Masaru Sato Score Composer
Tomoyuki Tanaka Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Bad Sleep Well
1. Logos / Opening Credits [2:09]
2. The Wedding [5:56]
3. "Best One-Act I've Ever Seen" [12:29]
4. Headlines [1:27]
5. In Custody [6:28]
6. "Through to the Bitter End" [3:26]
7. "Do Suicides Prove Corruption?" [4:43]
8. Wada's Funeral [6:25]
9. Family Matters [2:49]
10. X Marks the Spot [3:33]
11. Missing: Five Million in Cash [5:02]
12. The Ghost of Wada [3:58]
13. Tatsuo's Guilt [5:04]
14. "That's What It Means to be On Top!" [4:01]
15. Iwabuchi Cookout [3:40]
16. Chirai Cracks [3:45]
17. Hired Gun [3:38]
18. Scene of the Crime [9:06]
19. A Mysterious Link [2:18]
20. "It's Not Easy Hating Evil" [4:30]
21. A Child? [3:30]
22. Itakura [4:07]
23. The Room Falls Silent [2:03]
24. Captive [4:25]
25. Memories Among Ruins [3:21]
26. Waiting Out Moriyama [5:10]
27. Reunion [10:33]
28. Father's Betrayal [7:56]
29. Muraki Inn Safe [1:53]
30. "So Simple and Yet So Foul!" [8:33]
31. Sleep Well [4:38]
32. Color Bars
1. Introduction [1:28]
2. "A Touchy Subject" [4:17]
3. Wedding Scene [1:52]
4. The Cast and Kurosawa [11:46]
5. Production Challenges [10:35]
6. The Great Evil [2:32]

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Customer Reviews

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The Bad Sleep Well 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
anselmus More than 1 year ago
Everyone I have spoken with who has seen this film loved it. It doesn't reveal all its treasures the first time through, because it's a bit of a job to figure out what is happening. But as the movie goes on things become clear, and a fine character study emerges, helped by Toshiru Mifune in an atypical role. The movie is loosely based on the plot of Hamlet: a murdered father, a ghost (but not the father), an Ophelia type, and the usurping villain. It is a study of corporate corruption in postwar Japan, and of one young man who is determined to avenge his father's death at the hands of his wealthy, Machiavellian corporation bosses. The film is notable for its black humor, a cliche which in this case should be understood to mean that it is actually very funny very often, although its underlying themes are quite serious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just a warning to anyone purchasing the DVD, it is an import for China. Nothing wrong with it except for the fact that the subtitles are a little screwy. All of the name have been changed to Chinese names, so if you've read any of the books on Kurosawa, it'll take you a while to get used to the new names. Otherwise the movie is fine. Not Criterion quality, but they seem a little preoccupied with releasing Renior and Cassavetes' films in groups but not Kurosawa's great contemporary films.