Release date: October 17, 1949
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Who should watch this movie: People who thought Kurosawa only made samurai flicks.
When should you watch this movie: On a hot summer day.
The sell: Stray Dog starts on a charming note, as a rookie police officer makes a silly blunder (has his pistol stolen) but then spirals rapidly out of control. In this movie, Kurosawa takes a harsh look at a post-war Japan barely holding on to a semblance of order. He holds a magnifying glass up to the social contract and looks closely enough to see it unraveling. Stray Dog is less about a police chase and more about a teetering set of ethical principles, held in place by pure force of will in the mind of a naive junior officer. Needless to say this is not an optimistic film.