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Violence at Noon

Released Jan 1, 1966 1h 39m Drama List
100% Tomatometer 10 Reviews 80% Audience Score 250+ Ratings
In economically barren post-World War II Japan, life is bleak for Shino (Saeda Kawaguchi), who is part of an agricultural commune that becomes a financial disaster. Things get even more troubling when Eisuke (Kei Satô), an embittered member of the commune, rapes Shino. She attempts to move on, only to learn that an increasingly disturbed Eisuke has continued to sexually abuse women. Yet Shino maintains a certain sympathy for Eisuke, and faces a moral dilemma when the cops ask her for help. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (10) Critics Reviews
Vincent Canby New York Times The camera swirls and swoops. The present gives way to the past, which, in turn gives way to the present, with the speed of a narrator who can't resist interrupting himself. Jan 15, 2005 Full Review Tony Rayns Time Out As in several other films, Oshima takes the story of a real-life criminal (here, a rapist and murderer) and uses it as the key to a sweeping analysis of the ills of post-war Japanese society. May 24, 2003 Full Review Scott Tobias AV Club Violence At Noon plays like Rashomon viewed through the crooked lens of Jean-Luc Godard, a prismatic take on rape and murder under the hot light of an interrogation room. Feb 25, 2002 Full Review John Berra Electric Sheep Violence at High Noon is a detached and disturbing portrait of post-war Japan that owes much to the films of Alain Resnais and Robert Bresson in terms of its non-linear structure and its fascination with the amoral activity of the social outsider. Feb 7, 2015 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion The audacity of the style seeps into the story's tabloid luridness. Feb 7, 2015 Full Review Sean Axmaker Seanax.com The film jumps back and forth in time, trades narrators and fragments the narrative in rapid cuts. May 17, 2010 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (17) audience reviews
Audience Member life in post WWII war Japan Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member Complex story about love, lonliness, lust, and death. Fairly competent performances, but would've benefitted from better performances. Interesting, experimental and free camera work. The two women at the end reminded me of Ingmar Bergman's Persona. But this film falls short of that kind of brilliance. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review jack c I actually DID feel confused a lost a couple of time during the film, but only in the first half. It did jump around a lot, but after a certain point I clicked into Oshima's fast-paced rhythm (and it has about 2,000 cuts so that is a lot even by today's standards), and it has such a fiery sense of what is right and wrong and how the gray areas of the world just take over, and also how a rapist and murder can be understood, if certainly not "liked" at all. It's a dynamic, angry character, simmering and volatile, and when he's on screen you can't take your eyes off him (and it makes for one of the really great openings to any movie, as he enters a house and eyes a woman, a very dangerous-sexy scene). I really got engrossed in this story of suicide, regret, guilt, and what happens when enveloped in society - that it's a murder mystery is so secondary a note, maybe even the last thing on Oshima's mind. In fact if it hadn't been for a scene on a train that is just shot very clumsily and pretentiously, it might be close to being a perfect "art" film, where a director takes some major chances with style and effect to tell his story. As it stands, I was drawn into Violence at Noon through the emotionally harrowing performances and the innovative editing (and even among other "New Wave" filmmakers of the era who used editing to unconventional effect this had an uncanny sense of going back and forth in time - taking on memory as snapshots, but still cohesive for a full story). Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Oh you women, 'he's a rapist and a killer and he raped me in front of my dead lover but I love him and I can change him!!!' That's a bit more extreme than 'he's a good for nothing lazy bum who treats me like crap but I can turn him into a loving, caring, candy buying built dude who loves me for who I am!!!' Just a bit. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/18/23 Full Review Audience Member Nagisa Oshima takes a page from the New Wave and chops this psychological serial rapist thriller into a jumble of jump cuts, rapid edits, time shifts, camera trickery, and political satire, and it's one of the most ambitious, mesmerizing films of his career. The late Kei Sato stars as the High Noon Attacker, a farmer who, as flashbacks tell us, has devolved into a rapist and a murderer because of the misguided affections of a local school-teacher and a young, comely maid, both of who know they shouldn't be hiding the man's identity from the police, but that's the nature of psycho-sexual obsession. As the film plunges like a speeding train towards it's disturbing conclusion, Sato and the psychology of a murderer become less prevalent than the budding frustrations and duel psyches of the women, who blend in a "Persona"-esque nightmare. Oshima keeps us guessing as to why the murderer is as he is, and why these two women are so drawn to him (with both hate, and especially, lust), with a narrative that routinely shifts back and forth in time with little indication or physical association for clues, but it's all part of a fascinating cinematic fabric, confusing and exhilarating. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member The story of a serial rapist/killer and the two women in his past trying to protect him. Oshima structures the film by cutting between two different chronologies, one following the investigation and more importantly the communication between the women, and the other flashback, establishing the relationships between the characters and the roots of Eisuke's crimes. It's not really a study of his psychosis, however, but rather an exploration of people bound together by violence, failure, lonelieness and despair. I found the film's cinematic aspects more intriguing than its thematic aspects (which, to be honest, I don't think I've quite deciphered yet). Oshima's compositions can be striking, and the frame is often blown out with glaring sunlight. There's also an unusually large number of cuts, and at points certain shots and pans get looped, flipped, or reversed, a kind of schizophrenic turmoil of camera movement. Although overall the film didn't dig into my soul enough to resonate, it's definitely an interesting piece of work. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Violence at Noon

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis In economically barren post-World War II Japan, life is bleak for Shino (Saeda Kawaguchi), who is part of an agricultural commune that becomes a financial disaster. Things get even more troubling when Eisuke (Kei Satô), an embittered member of the commune, rapes Shino. She attempts to move on, only to learn that an increasingly disturbed Eisuke has continued to sexually abuse women. Yet Shino maintains a certain sympathy for Eisuke, and faces a moral dilemma when the cops ask her for help.
Director
Nagisa Ôshima
Screenwriter
Taijun Takeda, Tsutomu Tamura
Distributor
United Artists
Production Co
United Artists
Genre
Drama
Original Language
Japanese
Release Date (Theaters)
Jan 1, 1966, Original
Release Date (DVD)
May 18, 2010
Runtime
1h 39m