A Fugitive from the Past finally comes to Blu-ray from Arrow Video

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A Fugitive From The Past

 Tomu Uchida’s 1965 masterpiece A Fugitive from the Past has finally been restored to a 183-minute cut of the film that was praised as Japan’s 6th greatest film of all time. A culmination of 50 years of filmmaking, encompassing a library of over 70 films, Uchida’s ultimate crime and betrayal saga has finally made its way to Blu-ray and into your collections for the first time ever.

The film brings you the tale of three criminals on the run after a daring heist, during which one of the robbers, Inukai (Rentaro Mikuni), kills his two accomplices and sets off to sea with all the ill-gotten gains. After a disaster on the boat, the bodies of the two slain wash up on the shore. Policeman Yumisaka (Junzaburō Ban) becomes obsessed with the case after discovering the two individuals were not on the passenger log of the ship. Narrowly escaping the situation, Inukai befriends a young prostitute, Yae (Sachiko Hidari), and she shelters him in her home. Thanking her for her kindness, Inukai gives her a large sum of the stolen loot so she can begin a new life.

Officer Yumisaka refuses to let the case grow cold and spends every waking moment looking for clues to the killer, even coming so close as to meeting up with Yae and questioning her.

As many years pass, Inukai attempts to put his past misdeeds behind him, changing his identity, and becoming a model citizen -- only for his photo to be published in the local newspaper, which gets seen by Yae who attempts to track him down to thank him for how he helped her change her life. Inukai, fearful that she will blow his cover, murders Yae and thinks he can rest easy now that all the witnesses to his crime have been silenced.

Officer Yumisaka was forced to resign from the police force due to his obsession with the case, and continues to investigate on his own with another detective, ultimately discovering Yae’s body and finding the clue they need to bring Inukai to justice.

The two arrest Inukai and attempt to bring him back by ferry to answer for his crimes; but, sadly the movie ends when Inukai comes to terms with what he has done and commits suicide by jumping over the side of the boat, sinking into the dark water that engulfs him.

A wild crime drama filled with betrayal, its shows you that no matter how hard you try, your past always catches up to you in the end.

Arrow Video fills this release (as always) with fantastic bonus material:

  • 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

A masterpiece of filmmaking, this is a story that sets the bar for crime dramas that many modern filmmakers of today can learn a thing or two from. It is a must own for your collection.

5.0 / 5.0