Tora no O wo Fumu Otokotachi
1945 / 59m - Japan
Adventure, Thriller
The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail poster


December 11, 2022


One of Kurosawa's earliest films, shot right after the war. The film is based on a Noh play and it kind of shows. The setting and plot are very limited, so it's good the runtime was kept short too. Even so, Kurosawa struggles to keep things interesting, and the addition of some almost slapstick-like comedy wasn't the solution.

A general and his troops have fled into the woods. There they move on disguised as monks. They want to cross the border, but to do so they'll have to get past an enemy border patrol, who have been ordered to let nobody pass. They quickly suspect something's off, and a cunning fight between the two groups begins.

Enomoto's part is way over the top, the songs don't add much and even though the simple setup could've been fun, Kurosawa doesn't really do all that much with it. There are a few decent moments and it's a blessing the film doesn't cross the 60-minute mark, but it's mostly just for Kurosawa enthusiasts and completists.