Seijun Suzuki

Take Aim at the Police Van

Take Aim at the Police Van

At the beginning of Seijun Suzuki’s taut and twisty whodunit, a prison truck is attacked and a convict inside murdered. The penitentiary guard on duty, Daijiro (Michitaro Mizushima), is accused of negligence and suspended, only to take it upon himself to track down the killers.

Film Info

  • Seijun Suzuki
  • Japan
  • 1960
  • 84 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.45:1
  • Japanese

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir

Eclipse 17: Nikkatsu Noir

DVD Box Set

5 Discs

$55.96

Take Aim at the Police Van
Cast
Michitaro Mizushima
Daijiro Tamon
Mari Shiraki
Tsunako Ando
Misako Watanabe
Yuko Hamashima
Shinsuke Ashida
Jube Hamashima
Shoichi Ozawa
Goro Kashima
Ryohei Uchida
Kuji
Toru Abe
Akahori
Tatsuo Matsushita
Captain Takamura
Saburo Hiromatsu
Ota
Reiko Arai
Osen
Toyo Fukuda
House wife
Kotoe Hatsui
Merchant's wife
Hiroshi Osa
Yuhata
Credits
Director
Seijun Suzuki
Producer
Ryoji Motegi
Based on a story by
Kazuo Shimada
Screenplay
Shinichi Sekizawa
Cinematography
Shigeyoshi Mine
Lighting
Shinnosuke Ando
Recording
Saburo Takahashi
Production direction
Bugen Sakaguchi
Editing
Akira Suzuki
Music
Koichi Kawabe

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Seijun Suzuki

Director

According to critic Manohla Dargis, “To experience a film by Japanese B-movie visionary Seijun Suzuki is to experience Japanese cinema in all its frenzied, voluptuous excess.” Suzuki played chaos like jazz in his movies, from the anything-goes yakuza thrillers Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill to the daring postwar dramas of human frailty Gate of Flesh and Story of a Prostitute to the twisted coming-of-age story Fighting Elegy; he never concerned himself with moderation, cramming boundless invention into his beautifully composed frames, both color and black-and-white. Suzuki first pursued film after returning home to Tokyo from service in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II and failing university entrance exams. Following an unsatisfying stint as an assistant director at Shochiku, Suzuki was lured in 1954 to the recently reopened Nikkatsu studio, which was hiring fresh talent to appeal to a new kind of youth audience. He flourished there for years, with such films as Take Aim at the Police Van and especially Youth of the Beast, a commercial breakthrough for him. Yet his bosses became more and more opposed to his increasingly surreal visual stylings and lack of attention to narrative coherence, and after he made Branded to Kill, which a superior deemed “incomprehensible,” they unceremoniously (and illegally) revoked his contract. Of course, as any true Suzuki fan (and they are legion) knows, the incomprehensibility is part of the fun, and today his sixties works are considered some of the most essential of the Japanese New Wave.