Samurai capitalism. One of Akira Kurosawa's most obviously political films, THE BAD SLEEP WELL is a prophetic indictment of Japan's cutthroat, feudalistic approach to business. Nishi (Toshiro Mifune) is a fast-rising young executive about to further his acquisition of power through

marriage to Keiko (Kyoko Kagawa), the daughter of the firm's president, Iwabuchi (Masayuki Mori). Nishi, however, is something of a modern-day samurai--a heroic figure who has adopted a new identity in order to avenge the death of his father, a corporate vice president whose death can be traced to Iwabuchi. Nishi's method of revenge is to become part of the family and destroy Iwabuchi from within. But Nishi eventually discovers that there is no room for the noble hero in the ruthless world of high-powered executives and politicians. One of Kurosawa's finest achievements, THE BAD SLEEP WELL

becomes even more interesting when viewed as a predecessor to HIGH AND LOW (1963), an equally jaundiced look at Japanese mores.