Stray Dog

Throw ’em the curveball.

Acclaimed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, known for epic, battle-filled tales of samurai, chose a new path with this much-more intimate story of two cops walking a lonely beat.

The younger of the pair, played by Toshiro Mifune, loses his gun to a pickpocket, setting up a race against time to retrieve the weapon before it’s used in a series of crimes.

A gritty homage to the kind of film noir American directors had popularized, this sizzles and pops as our heroes swelter in a heat wave.

Proof old dogs, or revered directors, can learn new tricks.

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