Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Toho All-Star Flick in Ikebukuro

Arashi o yobu gakudan at Ikebukuro's Shin-Bungeiza. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Last night, I went to the Shin-Bungeiza theater in Ikebukuro to take in a late-night screening of Arashi o yobu gakudan (1960), an all-star Toho musical with several notable actors from the studio. Among the featured players are: Akira Takarada, Tadao Takashima, Izumi Yukimura, Tatsuyoshi Ehara, and Shinichi Yanagisawa.

I've known about this movie for years but have never had to chance to see it ... until last night. It's a mostly light-hearted take on a jazz band that organically comes together and achieves almost overnight success. However, love (and egos) get in the way, and soon the members break up and go their separate ways. But will they get back together before the ending?

It was an enjoyable film, and I especially enjoyed seeing Shinichi Yanagisawa in a Toho movie. (Yanagisawa-san is better known for his Nikkatsu and Shochiku roles.) Folks who need monsters in their Toho movies are really missing out. Last night was a great night at the movies.

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