The Bad Sleep Well

"The Bad Sleep Well" brings the number of Kurosawa films in Criterion's catalog to 14, about half the helmer's oeuvre. But unlike the lavish double-disc spreads accorded "Ikiru" and most recently "Ran," this title gets just a single DVD, albeit with a pristine transfer.

With:
With: Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Kamatari Fujiwara, Ko Nishimura.

How fitting that Criterion should release Akira Kurosawa’s examination of corruption in the Japanese business world at a time when American corporations have inspired films about their own scandals. (Here’s a double bill: this film and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”) “The Bad Sleep Well” brings the number of Kurosawa films in Criterion’s catalog to 14, about half the helmer’s oeuvre. But unlike the lavish double-disc spreads accorded “Ikiru” and most recently “Ran,” this title gets just a single DVD, albeit with a pristine transfer.

Kurosawa supposedly said he made “The Bad Sleep Well” too soon — it was released wide in America in 1962. As much film noir as preachy social commentary, the pic follows the sub rosa machinations of Koichi Nishi (Toshiro Mifune) as he infiltrates the corridors of power within the Public Corp., a municipal-works behemoth graft-ridden from the top down.

For extras, cinephiles must content themselves with a 33-minute Japanese docu on the making of the film, packed with info but clunky, perhaps because it’s excerpted from a larger study of the filmmaker. The new high-definition digital transfer of the movie comes via a print struck from the original negative, with the pic so cleanly rendered the cheapness of its sets is sometimes revealed. The soundtrack has also been restored, to the advantage of Masaru Sato’s atmospheric and menacing score.

The Bad Sleep Well

Jan. 10; Single-disc: $29.95

Production: A Criterion Collection release of the 1960 Akira Kurosawa film.

Cast: With: Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Kamatari Fujiwara, Ko Nishimura.

More Digital

  • Netflix Reed Hastings

    Netflix Stock Closes at All-Time High, Nudging Market Cap Ahead of Disney's Again

    How fitting that Criterion should release Akira Kurosawa’s examination of corruption in the Japanese business world at a time when American corporations have inspired films about their own scandals. (Here’s a double bill: this film and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”) “The Bad Sleep Well” brings the number of Kurosawa films in Criterion’s […]

  • International Newswire: Netflix-Movistar + - Is

    International Newswire: Is Drama the New Soccer of Europe?

    How fitting that Criterion should release Akira Kurosawa’s examination of corruption in the Japanese business world at a time when American corporations have inspired films about their own scandals. (Here’s a double bill: this film and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”) “The Bad Sleep Well” brings the number of Kurosawa films in Criterion’s […]

  • TotalBiscuit - John Bain

    John 'TotalBiscuit' Bain, YouTube Gamer and Commentator, Dead at 33

    How fitting that Criterion should release Akira Kurosawa’s examination of corruption in the Japanese business world at a time when American corporations have inspired films about their own scandals. (Here’s a double bill: this film and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”) “The Bad Sleep Well” brings the number of Kurosawa films in Criterion’s […]

  • EU flagsEU flags outside the European

    Startups, Media Companies Block European Users in Wake of New Privacy Laws

    How fitting that Criterion should release Akira Kurosawa’s examination of corruption in the Japanese business world at a time when American corporations have inspired films about their own scandals. (Here’s a double bill: this film and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”) “The Bad Sleep Well” brings the number of Kurosawa films in Criterion’s […]

  • Reddit website

    Reddit Is Testing Community Chat Rooms to Take on Discord

    How fitting that Criterion should release Akira Kurosawa’s examination of corruption in the Japanese business world at a time when American corporations have inspired films about their own scandals. (Here’s a double bill: this film and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”) “The Bad Sleep Well” brings the number of Kurosawa films in Criterion’s […]

  • League of Legends Championship Series North

    ESPN+ to Live-Stream 'League of Legends' Esports Events Under New, Non-Exclusive Pact

    How fitting that Criterion should release Akira Kurosawa’s examination of corruption in the Japanese business world at a time when American corporations have inspired films about their own scandals. (Here’s a double bill: this film and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”) “The Bad Sleep Well” brings the number of Kurosawa films in Criterion’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content