The Stormy Man

This 1957 Japanese musical by Umetsugu Inoue was so successful that it brought producing studio Nikkatsu out of the red. (Inoue, for his part, liked the film enough to remake it twice.) It centers on a jazz drummer named Shoichi (Yujiro Ishihara), a rough-and-tumble playboy who at one point claims to love drumming as much as he loves fighting. Shoichi has a tender side—he singlehandedly supports his younger brother, raising money to send him to music school—but his combative nature prevents jazz club managers from hiring him. When his younger brother manages to get him a gig at the club where he works, Shoichi decides to clean up his act and become the best drummer in Japan. In his efforts he wins the romantic attention of the club’s cynical manager, who moves him into her house so he can have a room to practice night and day. This development inspires the jealousy of his old neighbor, a good-natured young woman who has long loved Shoichi from afar. Inoue generates tension from the romantic subplot (which woman will Shoichi choose?), developing in tandem with the hero’s unsteady rise in the music industry. Continue reading>>