The Crimson Kimono

Watch The Crimson Kimono

"YES, this beautiful American girl in the arms of a Japanese boy!"
  • Approved
  • 1959
  • 1 hr 22 min
  • 6.8  (3,061)

Set in the bustling city of Los Angeles, The Crimson Kimono takes viewers on a thrilling ride through the world of crime and passion. Directed by Samuel Fuller, this 1959 film stars Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, and James Shigeta in lead roles. At the heart of the story is a murder mystery that drives the plot forward. The film begins with two detectives, Joe Kojaku (Shigeta) and Charlie Bancroft (Corbett), investigating the death of a young woman named Sugar Torch. As they delve deeper into the case, they come across a group of artists who knew Sugar and were involved with her in some way. Among them is a stunning painter named Christine Downes (Shaw), with whom both detectives fall in love.

As the investigation progresses, the two detectives find themselves drawn to different suspects, creating tension between them. While Charlie believes that the killer is an ex-boyfriend of Sugar's, Joe is convinced that the real culprit is someone closer to the victim. Christine becomes the key to unlocking the mystery, and the detectives must decide whether to trust their instincts or follow their hearts.

One of the standout elements of The Crimson Kimono is the way it explores themes of racism and prejudice. Joe, who is Japanese American, faces discrimination from both his colleagues and the people he encounters on the job. His friendship with Charlie, who is white, is also called into question by some of the characters in the film. Similarly, Christine's relationship with Joe is met with skepticism from some of her peers, who are surprised that she would date someone who is not white.

The film also shines a light on the art scene in Los Angeles at the time. The group of artists that the detectives encounter includes a mix of painters, sculptors, and writers. The film gives viewers a glimpse into their world, with scenes set in studios and coffee shops where they discuss their work and debate the merits of various artistic movements.

The Crimson Kimono is notable for its strong performances, particularly from James Shigeta as Joe Kojaku. Shigeta brings depth and nuance to his portrayal of a man caught between two worlds. He is proud of his heritage and determined to prove himself despite the barriers he faces, but he also craves the acceptance of his colleagues and society at large. Victoria Shaw is also impressive as Christine, a woman torn between her loyalty to her friends and her feelings for Joe.

The film is beautifully shot, with vivid colors and striking compositions that capture the energy and diversity of Los Angeles. The soundtrack, which features a mix of jazz, pop, and traditional Japanese music, adds to the film's unique atmosphere.

At its core, The Crimson Kimono is a story about relationships and the complex emotions that drive them. Whether it's the bond between two detectives working together to solve a case, or the love triangle that develops between Charlie, Joe, and Christine, the film explores the ways in which people connect with one another and the obstacles that can stand in their way.

Overall, The Crimson Kimono is a gripping and thought-provoking film that serves as a snapshot of a particular time and place. Its exploration of themes that are still relevant today, such as racism and discrimination, make it a powerful and important work that continues to resonate with audiences.

The Crimson Kimono is a 1959 romance movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 22 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.

The Crimson Kimono
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 22 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (3,061)