Stray Dog (film)

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”A stray dog sees only what it chases”
Detective Sato

Stray Dog (Nora Inu) is an Akira Kurosawa film of 1949. It tells the story of rookie homicide detective Murakami looking for his gun, that was stolen from him on a bus. He’s helped by detective Sato, a more experienced detective, in his search. Murakami, however, constantly feels guilty because the gun has been used to commit crimes.

One of the first films to deal with the “older detective trains younger detective” plot you can see in films like Se7en or Training Day.

No relation with the one-shot manga.

Tropes used in Stray Dog (film) include:
  • The Atoner: Murakami wants to catch Yusa because he knows he has committed crimes using his gun.
  • Doing It for the Art: The file cabinets in the movie were all filled by cards with information on them despite none of these card ever showing up on camera. The crew invented an entire city's criminal background just for the sake of "realism."
  • Film Noir: A rare non-American or European example
  • Heat Wave: There's one through all the film, pictured by having everyone using fans all the time.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Let’s just say Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura have appeared in a lot of films of Kurosawa.
  • Nice Hat: Murakami's flat cap and Sato's fedora.
  • Not So Different: A major theme of the movie is the many similarities between Murakami and Yusa.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Made before Se7en, mind you.
  • Old Shame: Kurosawa considered this film was “too technical” and that it had “all that technique and not one real thought in it”.
  • Playing Against Type: Toshiro Mifune, known for playing gruff samurai, plays the role of the rookie detective in this film.
    • Though the "gruff samurai" roles came after this movie.
  • The Stoic: Sato. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, though.