Pale Flower

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Pale Flower
Directed by Masahiro Shinoda
Written by Masaru Baba
Masahiro Shinoda
Story by Shintaro Ishihara
Starring Ryo Ikebe
Mariko Kaga
Takashi Fujiki
Chisako Hara
Music by Toru Takemitsu
Cinematography Masao Kosugi
Distributed by Shochiku
Release date
  • 1964 (1964)
Running time
96 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Pale Flower (乾いた花 Kawaita hana?) is a 1964 Japanese crime film directed by Masahiro Shinoda. The film is about Muraki (Ryo Ikebe) a Yakuza hitman just released from prison. At an illegal gambling parlor, he finds himself drawn to a mysterious young woman named Saeko (Mariko Kaga). Though Saeko loses large sums of money, she asks Muraki to find games with larger and larger stakes. The two become involved in an intense mutually destructive relationship.[1]


Director Shinoda was influenced by Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal while making the film.[2] Shinoda chose the subject of yakuza as he felt the yakuza world is the only place where a Japanese ceremonial structure is sustained.[3]


When screenwriter Masaru Baba saw Shinoda's film focus on visual and sound, he complained to the managers at the company Shochiku. This led to a nine-month delay of the film's release.[3]

Home video[edit]

Homevision released a Region 1 DVD of Pale Flower on November 18, 2003.[4] The Criterion Collection have released a new DVD and Blu-ray edition of the film that features a new video interview with Masahiro Shinoda and selected-scene audio commentary by film scholar Peter Grilli .[5]


  1. ^ Crow, Jonathan. "Pale Flower: Overview - Allmovie". Allmovie. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ Stephens, Chuck (May 17, 2011). "Pale Flower: Loser Take All". Criterion Collection. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Schrader, 2005. p.205
  4. ^ Deming, Mark. "Pale Flower: Overview: Allmovie". Allmovie. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Pale Flower (1964) - The Criterion Collection". Criterion Collection. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 


External links[edit]