The Crimson Kimono

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The Crimson Kimono
The-crimson-kimono-1959 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Samuel Fuller
Produced by Samuel Fuller
Screenplay by Samuel Fuller
Starring Victoria Shaw
Glenn Corbett
James Shigeta
Music by Harry Sukman
Cinematography Sam Leavitt
Edited by Jerome Thoms
Globe Enterprises
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
October 1959
Running time
82 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Crimson Kimono is a 1959 film noir directed by Samuel Fuller. The film stars James Shigeta, Glenn Corbett and Victoria Shaw.[1]

It featured several ahead-of-its-time ideas about race and society's perception of race, a thematic and stylistic trademark of Fuller.


The film is essentially about two cops, friends and Korean War veterans, Detective Joe Kojaku (James Shigeta) and Detective Sgt. Charlie Bancroft (Glenn Corbett), who attempt to solve the murder of a local entertainer. A love triangle soon develops between a key witness, Christine Downes (Victoria Shaw), and the two principal leads.



Critical response[edit]

The Crimson Kimono was met with critical acclaim. The film scored a perfect rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews.[2]

The staff at Variety magazine said of the film, "The mystery melodrama part of the film gets lost during the complicated romance, and the racial tolerance plea is cheapened by its inclusion in a film of otherwise straight action...The three principals bring credibility to their roles, not too easy during moments when belief is stretched considerably. Anna Lee, Paul Dubov, Jaclynne Green and Neyle Morrow are prominent in the supporting cast."[3]

The Critics of Time Out magazine wrote that of the film saying, "Fuller developing his theme of urban alienation: landscape, culture and sexual confusion are all juxtaposed, forcing the Japanese-born detective (who, along with his buddy, is on the hunt for a burlesque queen murderer) into a nightmare of isolation and jealousy. Some fine set pieces - like the disciplined Kendo fight that degenerates into sadistic anarchy - and thoughtful camera-work serve to illustrate Fuller's gift for weaving a poetic nihilism out of his journalistic vision of urban crime."[4]

More recently, Ed Gonzales of Slant Magazine liked the film and wrote, "The opening is a triumph of grungy lyricism achieved through snaky cutting and blunt compositions: Sugar Torch (Gloria Pall), a blond and bodacious piece of stripper meat, is shot to death in the middle of a Los Angeles street after witnessing a murder inside her dressing room. The tenor of the film oscillates between tight-fisted noir and chamber drama, but the theme is always the same: cultural and romantic unrest...Fuller's feat is giving the film's nonstop interrogations, meetings and confrontations profound racial and political meaning."[5]


  1. ^ The Crimson Kimono at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ "The Crimson Kimono". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ Variety. Film review. Last accessed: December 3, 2009.
  4. ^ "The Crimson Kimono". Time Out London. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Gonzales, Ed. Slant Magazine, 2006. Last accessed: December 30, 2009.

External links[edit]