SciFi Japan

    Arrow Video US Brings Tomu Uchida's A FUGITIVE FROM THE PAST to Home Video

    Photo courtesy of Arrow Films. © 1965 Toei Co., Ltd.

    This September Arrow Brings One of Japan’s Most Important Cinematic Works to Home Video for the First Time

    Source: Arrow Films, MVD Entertainment
    Special Thanks to Audrey Faine

    Photo courtesy of Arrow Films. © 1965 Toei Co., Ltd.

    Japanese director Tomu Uchida (BLOODY SPEAR AT MOUNT FUJI, THE MAD FOX) directed 70 films over a career that spanned nearly 50 years. The crowning moment of Uchida's legendary career would come in 1965 with the release of the epic crime drama, A FUGITIVE FROM THE PAST (飢餓海峡, Kiga Kaikyō, 1965). On September 27, Arrow brings this stunning masterpiece to home video outside of Japan for the first time.

    In 1947, a freak typhoon sends a passenger ferry running between Hokkaido and mainland Japan plunging to the ocean depths, with hundreds of lives lost. During the chaos, three men are witnessed fleeing a burning pawnshop in the Hokkaido port town of Iwanai. The police suspect theft and arson, and when Detective Yumisaka (Junzaburo Ban) discovers the burned remains of a boat and the corpses of two men, he sets about tracking the shadowy third figure. Meanwhile, the mysterious Takichi Inukai (Rentaro Mikuni) takes shelter with a prostitute, Yae (Sachiko Hidari), a brief encounter that will come to define both of their lives. A decade later, long after the trail has gone cold, Yumisaka is called back by his successor Detective Ajimura (Ken Takakura) as two new dead bodies are found. 

    A FUGITIVE FROM THE PAST was shot in gorgeous monochrome photography that delivers a grittiness that imitates newsreels of the day. This cinematography coupled with Uchida's use of postwar Japanese landscapes helps create a crime drama that touches on the massive social upheaval and unspoken legacies of the war that was still fresh on everyone's mind.

    An adaptation of Tsutomu Minakami's 1700-page novel, A FUGITIVE FROM THE PAST is one of the most popular and critically esteemed films in all of Japanese cinema. Kinema Junpo, Japan's oldest film magazine with origins dating back to 1919, has repeatedly heaped praise upon the film. In 1995, the magazine declared A FUGITIVE FROM THE PAST to be the 6th greatest Japanese film ever made. Three years later in 1999, the magazine bumped the film up to number three.

    Arrow's Blu-ray release features a restored 183-minute-long cut of the film with the original uncompressed mono audio. Special features include an introduction by writer and curator Jasper Sharp, scene-specific commentaries from leading Japanese film scholars, the original theatrical trailer, and more. First pressings of the release include a fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by David Baldwin and Inuhiko Yomota.

    Photo courtesy of Arrow Films. © 1965 Toei Co., Ltd.

    • Format: Blu-ray
    • Street Date: 09/27/22
    • Label: Arrow Video »
    • Genre: Drama
    • Run Time: 183 mins
    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Audio: Stereo
    • Year of Production: 1965
    • Region Code: 0
    • Language: Japanese

    Bonus Materials

    • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the restored 183 minute-long cut of the film
    • Original uncompressed mono audio
    • Optional English subtitles
    • Introduction by writer and curator Jasper Sharp
    • Scene-specific commentaries from leading Japanese film scholars Aaron Gerow, Irene González-López, Erik Homenick, Earl Jackson, Daisuke Miyao and Alexander Zahlten
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • Image gallery
    • Tomu Uchida filmography
    • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella
    • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by David Baldwin and Inuhiko Yomota

    Photo courtesy of Arrow Films. © 1965 Toei Co., Ltd.


    About Arrow Films

    Arrow Films is a leading independent entertainment distribution company, established in 1991. Operating in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, United States of America and Canada, Arrow Films is dedicated to supporting upcoming and established filmmakers of dynamic new cinema and developing an enviable slate of quality films that enjoy a lasting legacy across its award-winning branded labels, channels, and platforms.

    About MVD Entertainment Group

    MVD Entertainment Group is a full service music and movie distribution firm, exclusively representing thousands of audio and visual products for DVD, Bluray, CD, vinyl, and digital rights, worldwide. MVD also exclusively distributes a growing line of merchandise including limited edition collectibles, tee shirts, and more. “Serving Artists and Audiences” is MVD's purpose statement; it represents a commitment to the interests of the musicians, filmmakers, record labels, producers, managers, and every link in the supply chain. The customers are the Audience, from wholesalers, sub-distributors, major retail chains, online retailers, specialists, and independent mom and pop stores, all the way to the consumer. MVD Entertainment Group was founded in 1986 by Tom Seaman, an industry veteran with prior experience with The Record Hunter, Sam Goody, CBS Retail, and JEM Distribution. Tom, along with his family Elinor, Eve and Ed, initially focused on music videotapes. At the turn of the century, with the advent of DVD, MVD built a large catalog of exclusively distributed audiovisual content on DVDs, with special strength in music concert films, horror movies, documentaries, comedy, cult classics, and much more.

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