Fast-Draw Guy

In Nomura Takashi’s Eastern Western Hayauchi Yaro (Fast-Draw Guy, 1961), Shishido Jo plays Ace no Joe, a bounty hunter in the wide open spaces of Northern Japan. One night he rides in a small town with a captive slung over his horse - a robber who stole the payroll for the construction crew at nearby dam. Joe claims the reward, but the town fathers are suspicious of this cocky stranger. A local saloon girl, Jane (Minamida Yoko), falls for him, but she and the other girls are under the thumb of the slithery saloon boss (Kaneko Nobuo). Joe decides to stand up to this character and the rest of his gang, with the aid of the plucky, but green, young sheriff (Sugiyama Toshio).

The ensuing action owes much to Anthony Mann’s The Tin Star (1957), with Shishido playing the Henry Fonda role. The execution, however, borders on parody, with Shishido supplying most of the laughs. A long-time fan and close student of classic Westerns, he came to the role well prepared - and the result is among the most entertaining of his comic creations.

Mark Schilling
Film Director: NOMURA Takashi
Year: 1961
Running time: 78
Country: Japan