No these are not screen shots from the latest Neo Noir thriller of today but images  from 1964 Japanese picture  CRUEL GUN STORY.   A stylistic heist film made  in response to the coming “Spy Craze”  ignited by  DR NO (1963)  and the subsequent ending of the  Classic Film Noir cycle  in the  early fifties.     This picture was  directed by  Takumi Furukaw who was influence Sejuin  Suzuki to spin out his wonderful TOKYO DRIFTER (1966) and   and BRANDED TO KILL (1967).

These pictures  all feature fast editing,  action, gun play and  girls some  like the  Suzuki films  is  brilliant colors.   There were not well received in their native country when made and  did cost Suzuki his career there which was later  restarted  with more conservative fare.

CRUEL GUN STORY features lead actor   Joe  Shishido who recruits various unsavory types  to perform a bank heist involving the stealing of an armored vehicle.  Flashing guns,  fist fights (although some unconvincing) abound.    What is a highlight  is the  good  use of light and space in the  composed shots even something as  simple as  gravel on a  highway flying up.

Joe Shishido was a  “non descript” leading man in the industry at the time who had an operation  to augment his facial cheeks for more  menace and  distinction.  The idea  worked and  he  went on very long career in film  and  Television is Japan including the  already mention  BRANDED TO KILL (1967)

For an action difference that lead to the creation of the  ‘Hong Kong cool” of  Chow Yun Fat, Jackie Chan  and  Tony Leung why not enjoy this  high octane  blasts.



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