Watching this after Seven Samurai was a surprise – I was getting used to Kurosawa’s films lengthening, with Seven Samurai clocking in around a whopping three and a half hours, so for The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail to just barely hit the hour mark was unexpected!
It’s a fairly slight film, but an enjoyable enough one. Kenichi Enomoto as the Porter character is the highlight, as he delivers a very lively and amusing performance, acting as a great foil to the other, more serious characters.
The film is paced well, nice and fast, and there are a lot of good suspenseful moments throughout the simple but entertaining story. The ending is a bit at odds with that simple but engaging story though, as I found it pretty baffling and confusing. Not quite sure of the significance of the ending shots.
Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the film as both a suspenseful and comic affair. I give it three disguises, and a samurai’s sword.