Proof of the Man


Crime / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Rick Jason Photo
Rick Jason as Lionel Adams
George Kennedy Photo
George Kennedy as Ken Shuftan
William Sanderson Photo
William Sanderson as Gun Dealer
Toshirô Mifune Photo
Toshirô Mifune as Yohei Kori
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.19 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 12 min
P/S 5 / 10
2.21 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 12 min
P/S 5 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by houyunf-105-9284609 / 10

A phenomenon movie in both Japan and China

It is known as Ren2 Zheng4 (Sorry IMDB does not allow me type Chinese or Japanese characters) in Chinese, a very famous 1977 Japanese movie imported to China in 1979. It was a phenomenon movie in both Japan and China. The song in the movie, Straw hat song. Almost all the Chinese people was familiar with the song since the movie was the first several movies imported into China when China started to open up to the world.

When I search the movie in IMDB, I could hardly believe the low score of 6.2, in my mind, the movie should score at 8+. The description only described first several minutes of the movie, and no review at all.

Here is the actual plot:

on the high-rise of the Royal Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, the annual Costume Design Awards exhibition is reaching its climax. Kyoko Yasugi, the wife of a Congressman, a famous fashion designer, attended the exhibition. At this time, it was reported that a black young man had died in the hotel elevator. According to the elevator attendant, the victim shouted "wheat straw hat, wheat straw straw hat" in English before he died. "Saijo Yaso"...How can black youth die here? Who is the murderer? The police launched a tense investigation.

The police dog sniffed the Valley Park near the Royal Hotel from the location of the victim's death. The police found a pool of blood and a straw hat in the grass, indicating that this was the real crime scene. A pair of young men who had a tryst in the park reported seeing the deceased in the park, and before that, a woman in a suit also left the park in a white Crown sedan. It was quickly found out from customs that the victim was Johnny Hayward (played by Joe Yamanaka, who himself is also of mixed blood, he's also a singer and sings the famous Straw hat song in the movie),who came to Japan from New York three days ago. The "Saijo Yaso Poems" and the straw hat he left behind were brought in from the United States when he entered the country.

After extensive searches, police learned that Johnny's father, Wilshere Hayward, had lived in Yokosuka, Japan, as a U. S. soldier stationed there after World War II, exactly the same period as the straw hat and the book of poetry. And the word "Casmi" left by the victim when he was dying was also found in a poem in the poetry collection, referring to a place called "Kiritsumi". So the police detective Munesue decided to go there to investigate. The local people said that the old lady Nakayama should know the story best, but when Munesue arrived at her house, someone had already taken the lead and murdered the old woman who knew the inside story. Munesue investigated some clues and learned that Nakayama opened a small hotel on the seaside of Hisanohama in Fukushima Prefecture that year and specialized in US troop's business. At that time, Yasugi Kyoko was also working in the store...

At this time, the son of the designer Kyoko Yasugi, Kyohei Kori, fled to New York after killing someone in a car accident. Detective Munesue followed the leads to New York. With the cooperation of the New York International Criminal Police, they also launched an investigation into the case of black young man Johnny. They found the home of a man named Adams based on the clues. He reported that a few months ago, when he was driving, an old black man suddenly jumped out on the road. He knocked him down before he could brake, and was blackmailed for $6000. The man's name was Wilshere Hayward, and the money was given to his son, Johnny Hayward, at his request. The police then deduced that Johnny's father had crashed into the car in order to get money to send his son to Japan. But why did the father have to send his son to Japan?

Kyohei Kori was shot and killed for resisting arrest. Munesue gets new clues and finds Johnny's father. Everything finally came to light: it turned out that Wilshere cohabited with Yasugi Kyoko when he was serving as a US soldier stationed in Japan after the war, and gave birth to his son Johnny. He took his son with him when the US troops withdrew from Japan. And Yasugi Kyoko soon married a small black market businessman Yohei Kori, concealed the past from him, and gave birth to Kyohei. Johnny grew up in the United States and was missing his mother, so Wilshere made a fortune for his son by crashing into a car and letting him come to Japan. At this time, Yohei became a powerful capitalist, and Yasugi Kyoko also became a well-known fashion designer. In order to protect his status and the family's reputation, Yasugi Kyoko killed his black son, Johnny, who came to find him. At the same time, in order to cover up her past, she killed the old woman who knew her past.

Just as the fashion design award ceremony was about to end, Munesue told Yasugi Kyoko that her son, Kyohei Kori, was shot dead. With both sons dead, Yasugi Kyoko collapsed. After coming out of the award ceremony, Yasugi Kyoko drove towards the mountains of Fuji. She threw the straw hat into the valley with all her strength, and jumped off the cliff herself. The straw hats were falling and falling in the valley, and Johnny's song about the straw hats sounded again in the valley...

Reviewed by ksandness2 / 10

So bad that it's good

Living in Japan in the late 1970s, I saw Ningen no Shomei heavily advertised on TV and saw people carrying the souvenir booklet around. The tag line, which translates as "Mother, whatever happened to my straw hat?" became a running joke. Well, I had to see this pop culture phenomenon myself.

It begins with the murder of a half-Black, half-Japanese man in the Hotel New Otani (not an inn). Seeing this movie in a theater full of Japanese people was an interesting experience, because I found myself laughing at the plot and the production values.

In particular, there's a flashback in which a Japanese man is being beaten up by some American GIs during the Occupation. Not funny in itself, but what made me laugh, sink down in my seat and cover my mouth to avoid being heard was the fact that these supposedly 1940s GIs all had 1970s beards and hair.

Or shall I mention the time when a character makes a confession, which is immediately followed by a thunderclap out of nowhere?

What about the murder victim walking toward the Hotel New Otani, which has a round penthouse-like structure on its roof mumbling "Sutoroo hatto, sutoroo hatto" or "Straw hat, straw hat"? This is from a character who is supposed to have grown up in the U. S.

Poor George Kennedy and Broderick Crawford must have been desperate for money to appear in this convoluted mishmash, especially the final scene in which George Kennedy's character is walking through the ruins of the South Bronx and is stabbed to death by a Black man who calls him "Japanese lover!"

This plot must have some sort of basic appeal to the Japanese, because it has been made into three movies and a TV miniseries.

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