Red Handkerchief | Chicago Reader

Red Handkerchief

The Gene Siskel Film Center's fine retrospective of 60s action flicks from Japan's Nikkatsu studio continues with this potent, well-plotted 1964 crime thriller by Toshio Masuda. An old man being interrogated about his connection to a heroin ring grabs a detective's gun and is shot dead by the detective's partner; four years later the shooter (Yujiro Ishihara), expelled from the force and working at a remote industrial site, discovers the shooting incident may have been contrived by the partner (Hideaki Nitani), now a wealthy entrepreneur married to the old man's daughter (Ruriko Asaoka). Shooting in wide-screen color, Masuda makes good use of the rocky landscape to communicate the hero's sense of exile, and quick cuts to a clanging machine hammer become a primal symbol of his vengeance. In Japanese with subtitles. 98 min.

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