Restored Asian Films
黒手組助六 (マーヴェルグラフ) [Kurotegumi Sukeroku (Marvel Graph)]
Shinzaemon has been Sukeroku’s enemy ever since Sukeroku fought and defeated gangs from Shinzaemon’s group at a Kabuki theatre over Agemaki from Miuraya. Sukeroku swears that he will never draw his sword until he finds his family’s treasured blade, Tomokirimaru, so he gets insulted often by Shinzaemon’s men. Bunzaemon redeems Agemaki for Sukeroku ahead of Shinzaemon, but Sukeroku, ever the gentleman, does not accept. When Shinzaemon snatches Agemaki, it is found that he has Tomokirimaru. Sukeroku overcomes Shinzaemon in a once-in-a-lifetime fight, and saves Agemaki.
The legendary Japanese film star Kazuo Hasegawa plays the leading role in this story as Sukeroku, a well-known hero in Kabuki. The film was released in 1929, the third year after Hasegawa’s debut under his early screen name Chojiro Hayashi. This is quite a valuable discovery because most of Hasegawa’s films with Shochiku have been lost. The young Hasegawa’s brilliant charisma is fully captured by the camerawork of Kohei Sugiyama, who is also known for his work with such directors as Teinosuke Kinugasa and Kenji Mizoguchi.
This is a condensed version on 16mm (314m out of the original 996m), sold under the “Marvel Graph” label. “Marvel Graph” was a brand name for the 16mm digest film series of Jujiya Gakkiten, a musical instrument company in Tokyo, which was licensed by major production companies like Shochiku and Makino to produce digest versions of their feature films. This Marvel Graph version survived the war, and was kept in good condition by a family along with their home movies. This is the 5th “Adopt a Film” project started in 2007 and finished in January 2009, with the kind assistance of actress Kiyo Hasegawa, the daughter of the film’s star.
Alternate Titles: Kurotegumi Sukeroku [Marvel Graph]
Original Production Country: Japan
Original Release Year: 1929
Original Elements Held By: Private Ownership (digest version on 16mm for home use)
Original Distribution Company: Shochiku Kinema
Production Company: Shochiku Kinema, Shimokamo Studio
Director: Taizo Fuyushima
Writer: Kosen Maeda
Cinematography: Kohei Sugiyama
Other Credits: Cast: Chojiro Hayashi (later Kazuo Hasegawa)
Colour System: B/W
Duration: 16 mins (fps16)
Country Where Restored: Japan
Country Restoration First Screened:
Lab Image Restored By: IMAGICA WEST
Lab Audio Restored By:
Archive Partner(s) in Restoration:
Restored Elements Held By: Museum of Kyoto
Restoration Funded By: Kiyo Hasegawa
Restoration Premiere: The 4th Film Restoration and Preservation Workshop/Museum of Kyoto, 30 August 2009; Shown at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in 2009
Restoration General Release Date:
Screening Rights Held By:
BD/DVD Release: DVD with English subtitles is available from Film Preservation Society.
Film Preservation Society; KIFPS