Film / Stray Dog

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

Stray Dog (Nora Inu) is an Akira Kurosawa film from 1949, starring Toshiro Mifune. It tells the story of rookie homicide detective Murakami as he searches for his stolen pistol. He's helped in his search by Sato, a more experienced detective, but he's also wracked by guilt 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 manga.

Tropes in this film:

  • The Atoner: Murakami wants to catch Yusa because he knows he has committed crimes using his gun.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Murakami keeps a running tab on how many bullets are left in his gun. In the climactic scene Yusa is down to three bullets. He wings Murakami, but then shoots wild twice and is left with an empty chamber.
  • Film Noir: A rare non-American or European example.
  • Heat Wave: There's one throughout the film, pictured by having everyone using fans all the time.
  • 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: One of the earliest examples.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Yusa only appears in two scenes (and his face is only seen in one), but his violent actions and the pursuit of him by the police drives the second half of the film
  • The Stoic: Sato. That doesn't mean he doesn't care, though.