Black Rain

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German title Black Rain
Original title Black Rain
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1989
length 125 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Ridley Scott
script Craig Bolotin ,
Warren Lewis
production Craig Bolotin,
Stanley R. Jaffe ,
Sherry Lansing
music Hans Zimmer
camera Jan de Bont
cut Tom Rolf

Black Rain (translated: Black Rain ) is an action thriller by director Ridley Scott from 1989 , which, among other things, addresses the clash between Japanese and American modern culture . The main characters are Michael Douglas , Andy García and Ken Takakura . Hans Zimmer contributed the music .


The New York cops Nick Conklin and Charlie Vincent will be in a restaurant witness an assassination attempt on a Yakuzaboss . They can arrest the killer Sato and are given the task of transporting him to Japan . Conklin against which the supervision precisely because of missing drug money determined, sees the whole thing as a chore, while Vincent a few nice days in Osaka want to do.

At Osaka-Itami Airport , they turned Sato over to the authorities, but minutes later discovered that they had turned him over to his own people. The Japanese police of Osaka Prefecture reacts with contempt, the inspector in charge Matsumoto, called "Masa" or respectful mass San , are both the blame. He and Conklin do little more than insult each other at first, and when they set out on the hunt for Sato and his accomplices - Conklin and Vincent receive non-participatory observer status under Masa's supervision - things only get worse . Against the orders of his superior, Masa involves the two more closely in the investigation, and they get caught up in the gang war between Sato and Sugai. During a raid on Sato's hiding place, some gang members are arrested, including one of the "police officers" from the airport. Sample prints of counterfeit money are found . Masa accuses Conklin of embezzlement from her superiors because he unwittingly witnessed Conklin pocketing money. He and Vincent examined the money more closely and wanted to inform Masa about the background to the gang war.

After a long night in a karaoke bar, the three policemen get closer, talk about their mutual values, and Conklin receives advice from the American entertainer Joyce on how to behave as a gaijin (a foreigner, stranger). Conklin and Vincent quickly learn what it means to have the men of the yakuza as an enemy. When they set out on foot to their hotel, they are attacked and separated by a motorcycle gang. Conklin reached its partners just to mitanzusehen as he Sato with a Wakizashi beheaded is.

Horrified and thirsty for revenge, Conklin visits his chance acquaintance Joyce. Masa meets him there and feels responsible for Vincent's murder. Following a Japanese tradition, he gives Conklin a freely chosen item from Vincent's estate, who chooses his confiscated service weapon. The two men go on a hunt for Sato on their own, following a lead from Joyce after a new investigation into his hiding place. They find out that Sato is blackmailing an older yakuza boss named Sugai for holding printing plates designed to forge US dollars on a large scale. The two officers almost arrest Sato, but the Japanese police get in their way. Masa is suspended for continuing to involve Conklin in the investigation and handing over a weapon; Conklin is expelled from the country. However, he sneaks up board the plane and examined his Japanese colleague who wants nothing know of another loner actions more since he made his community, the police Osaka expelled was. Masa confesses to Conklin that he tried to emulate Nick San , the super cop from New York - who had previously told his Japanese colleague as a sign of respect and trust that he had actually embezzled money from a drug offense in New York, which he did not could once confide in his dutiful partner Charlie.

Next, the American contacts Sugai, again with the help of Joyce. The aging Japanese explains to him that he detests Sato, but even more so the Americans: He tells of the destruction of his hometown in World War II by American bombers and the black rain that fell from the sky in the days after the catastrophe. In Sugai's opinion, the Americans poisoned Japanese culture and indoctrinated Japan with misconceptions of duty , honor and values since the post-war years , thereby making the rise of people like Sato possible in the first place. Despite everything, he gives Conklin a chance to catch Sato: he wants to meet with him and the bosses of other Yakuza clans in a country house shortly and has Conklin shipped to the meeting place by his bodyguard, along with a pump gun and ammunition. The aim of the meeting of the bosses is a reconciliation between Sato and Sugai, the return of the printing plates to Sugai and the submission of the young Sato to the code of honor of the conservative gang leaders. Sato pretends to strive for the same, and as a sign of repentance and an admission of his loss of face he undergoes the ritual of severing a finger joint with a tanto , following a tradition from the time of the samurai in ancient Japan .

As he works his way to the meeting point, Conklin is nearly shot; he encounters Sato's followers who carry out an attack on the meeting. At the last second, however, Masa appears and saves him. Together they have a bloody exchange of fire with the yakuza, who are also fighting among themselves. Conklin turns Sato on a motorcycle after a chase and has the opportunity to kill him after a fight in the mud. Instead, Conklin and Masa Sato deliver triumphantly to the police headquarters under the gaze of their colleagues and are completely rehabilitated. As true friends who respect each other's culture, they finally split up at the airport, where Conklin gives Masa a gift box in which the printing plates for the counterfeit money are hidden.


The German dubbing was commissioned by Berliner Synchron , and Lutz Riedel was responsible for the dialogue direction and the German dialogue book .

role actor speaker
Nick Conklin Michael Douglas Volker Brandt
Charlie Vincent Andy García Stephan Schwartz
Masahiro Mas (a) Matsumoto Ken Takakura Shunzo Sanchome
Sugai Tomisaburō Wakayama Heinz Rabe
Joyce Chicago Kate Capshaw Kerstin Sanders-Dornseif
Captain Oliver John Spencer Kurt Goldstein


Black Rain plays in the gray area between Japanese modernity and ancient Asian tradition: the views of the yakuza bosses Sato and Sugai of tradition and honor are presented as different.

Sugai's eponymous monologue about the black rain is based on the novel of the same name by Masuji Ibuse , which addresses the aftermath of the atomic bombing on Hiroshima .

In the beginning of the restaurant scene, Danny DeVito made a cameo as a waiter.

Yusaku Matsuda , who played the role of the villain Sato, died of bladder cancer a few months after filming was finished before Black Rain was released in German cinemas.

The film is based on the model of Sidney Pollack's The Yakuza from 1974 with Robert Mitchum in the lead role. As in "Black Rain", Ken Takakura plays a supporting role (as "the man who never smiles").


"The predominantly unoriginal plot is told in fascinatingly dark, atmospherically dense scenes without, however, gaining a decisive profile."

"An exciting story, impressive action and gloomy pictures ensure captivating entertainment."

“Unfortunately the producers and writers did not stick to their good intentions to show something more of the 'real Japan'. The story is too American for that, and the cynical city cop is too American. "

- Dirk Kalweit : The big film lexicon: all top films from A – Z

“The story has been filmed a dozen times by now […] The story is really about how Nick and Masahiro learn to respect each other, and how Nick regains his self-esteem and becomes honest again through motorcycle chases and shootings. [...] Practically in every scene there is steam or smoke somewhere. "

- Mark R. Leeper :

“Light never just falls through the window like it would in someone else's film. [...] At best, 'Black Rain' has a chic design with the characteristics of a very long and witty TV commercial. You don't know what they want to sell, but the eye is never bored. "

“At the end of Black Rain , Masa even smiles. And you will too, given the symbolic interpenetration between the American individualist and this Japanese team player . "

- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat : Spirituality & Practice

“This is a splendid, volatile film [...] It is big or maybe too big for its shallow demands and the structure of commonplaces. But he's also beautiful and cruel in the same way that other Scott films were visually exuberant. "


  • Two Oscar nominations (Best Sound, Best Sound Editing)
  • Nomination for the Award of the Japanese Academy in the category "Best Foreign Language Film"
  • The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating “particularly valuable”.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  2. cf. The Yakuza (1974). In: IMDb ., Inc., accessed July 26, 2008 .
  3. ^ A b Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat: Film Review - Black Rain. In: Spirituality & Practice. Retrieved on July 26, 2008 : “At the end of Black Rain, Matsu cracks a smile. And you will too given the exchange of meanings that transpires between the American individualist and this Japanese team player "
  4. ^ Black Rain in the Lexicon of International FilmsTemplate: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used
  5. Black Rain. Prism , accessed July 26, 2008 .
  6. Dirk Manthey, Jörg Altendorf, Willy Loderhose (eds.): The large film lexicon. All top films from A-Z . Second edition, revised and expanded new edition. Verlagsgruppe Milchstraße, Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-89324-126-4 , p. 327 f .
  7. ^ Mark R. Leeper: Black Rain (1989 / I). In:, Inc., accessed on July 26, 2008 (English): “by now probably a dozen other films that have that same plot […] The story is really about how Nick and Masahiro learn to respect each other and how with motorcycle chases and gunfights Nick regains his self-respect and becomes honest again. [...] Virtually every scene seems to have smoke or smog in it somewhere "
  8. Vincent Canby : Black Rain (1989). In: The New York Times . September 22, 1989, accessed on July 26, 2008 (English): "Light never simply comes through a window as it might in someone else's movie. [...] At its best, "Black Rain" has the glitzy quality of an extremely long and clever television commercial. One can't be sure what is being sold, but the eye isn't bored "
  9. ^ Rita Kempley : 'Black Rain'. In: The Washington Post . September 22, 1989, accessed on July 26, 2008 (English): “It's a gorgeous, erratic movie […] It's big, maybe too big for its shallow notions and commonplace structure. But it is also beautiful and terrible in the same ways that other Scott movies have been eye-filling "
  10. Black Rain on fbw-filmb