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Violence at Noon (1966)

Hakuchû no tôrima (original title)
Two young women must come to terms with the fact that a man they're deeply linked to is a murdering rapist.


Nagisa Ôshima


Taijun Takeda (novel), Tsutomu Tamura (screenplay)


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Credited cast:
Hideo Kanze Hideo Kanze ... Inagaki, husband of the raped woman
Hideko Kawaguchi Hideko Kawaguchi ... Matsuko's mother
Saeda Kawaguchi Saeda Kawaguchi ... Shino Shinozaki
Narumi Kayashima Narumi Kayashima ... Jinbo, teacher
Teruko Kishi Teruko Kishi ... Shino's grandmother
Hôsei Komatsu Hôsei Komatsu ... Shino's father
Akiko Koyama Akiko Koyama ... Matsuko Koura, wife of Eisuke, teacher
Kei Satô Kei Satô ... Eisuke Oyamada
Ryôko Takahara Ryôko Takahara ... Raped woman
Taiji Tonoyama ... School director
Rokkô Toura Rokkô Toura ... Genji Hyuga
Fumio Watanabe Fumio Watanabe ... Inspector Haraguchi
Sen Yano Sen Yano ... Mayor


Hakuchu no Torima" is the portrayal of a violent rapist as seen through the recollections of his wife and one of his victims. As the film starts, Eisuke (Kei Sato) encounters Shino (Saeda Kawaguchi), who works as a maid in a house. She is a former coworker from a failed collective farm, whose life he once saved -- only to rape her. Soon, Eisuke's criminal pattern of rapes and murders emerges as he goes on assaulting women (Shino being the witness of one of them, as Eisuke tries to violate her employer). When cooperating with the police on making a description of the rapist, Shino withholds her crucial knowledge of his identity. She prefers writing letters to Eisuke's dutiful wife, Matsuko, a schoolteacher (Akiko Koyama -- Mrs Oshima), in order to expose his true nature and perhaps induce her into turning Eisuke over to the police. Written by miclea daniel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

15 July 1966 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Violence at Noon See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sozosha See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The movie is made up of 1,508 takes. The average shot length is 4.5 seconds. See more »


References Twenty-Four Eyes (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

Hunger of passion vs Hunger of ease
16 July 2015 | by pggirasoleSee all my reviews

This movie has something incredible. The fastness. We are put, since the first scenes, in a crazy mood made of hunger rather than satisfaction. And this hunger is the one of a rapist.

Eisuke, the "demon of noon" is a serial sexual abuser that, as we witness from the first minutes, tries to put his hands of fury over a young girl called Shino, a waiter who lives in Kansai. Far from her native village in Nagano prefecture from which the "demon" belongs too. Before moving, however, Shino used to have sex with Genji the son of the village master in which she used to live. The reason was escaping from poverty after a flood that destroyed almost all the house of the place they both belong to. The hunger of the girl became so the reason she slept with him. However, he really liked her. So this leaded to a double suicide of love. The Japanese call it "shunji" and could have been a traditional element for a classic plot. But Oshima is an innovator. In fact, Genji, liked by a shy village school teacher called Matsuko, is the only one to die. Shino was escaped and raped by Eisuke, the demons that here makes his first crime. So we realize that Shino was raped twice. Matsuko, rather than feel lost, is more and more attracted by Eisuke, and Shino, after the second rape, decides to inform her the real identity of the demon. The problem is that Matsuko and Eisuke are now a married couple. The teacher, is shy as ever, but this happens only on the surface. And, in Japan especially, not every time to appear means to be. We discover she is so much attracted by his violent and beastly drunk husband to avoid to help the girl. However, at one point, she decides to help but, after the death condemn to Eisuke, to end her days in a double suicide with Shino. They did it but Shino another time survives.

Explaining the plot here is necessary to understand the themes of a story completely untidy made of flashbacks and close ups that seem trying to show us the inner soul of the characters. This is given by the fact that this plot evolves under the skins. Under the surface. Even if the violence occurs at noon. Here Matsuko is not a wife as Ozu could have imagined. Here we have a demon that lies under her as well as the characters of Nomura's movies. The forest, however, as the idea of the sun as heat rather than light, is a theme yet developed in Kurosawa's Rashomon where we have, as in this movie, a generally hidden act that lies under the sun and not surrounded by fog.

Another thing very important is the political message behind this work. Even id we are not in a move like "Night and fog of Japan" where this element is stressed more we can consider the two dead victims, Genji and Matsuko, the real couple of "shunji". They, being both pure before the flood, somehow loved each other but were attracted by the flesh and instincts after the order was destroyed. Eisuke is the tool that, creating the chaos, can show us this. As well the easiness that makes Shino living without caring too much about, not only her liar soul, but also her violated body. She concerns only about the goal. That is eating after the starvation. As the postwar Japan did in front of the bombings by the Americans while old officers were killing themselves. The hunger, if reaches a goal, so not as happens with Eisuke, who feels a thirsts of passions, can be justified. And Shino wins as Japan did.

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