20 April 1999 | Serpent-5
Proof of a Man is a interesting film
The film had a brief run in the Japanese art houses back then, and never got a good U.S. booking for a big film from Japan in 1977. There is two version of the film, one is a Japanese print which runs more than 130 minutes, and a U.S. version, which was re-dubbed and addition scenes was added, and some Japanese scenes were cut out (Making Toshiro Mifune only appear once). The US version never got any theatrical booking as it came out on video in a small label in 1985. I saw both version and the impact of the film wasn't destroyed on the U.S. cut version. The film is about a Black man (played by singer Joe Yamamura) murdered in Japan, and a cop (the late Yusaku Matsuda, star of Paramount film BLACK RAIN) is on the case to solve the mystery. He later goes to America to team up with George Kennedy, who later Yusaku realized is the man that killed his father in WW2 days. Many American actors like Broadrick Crawford, Theresa Merritt, Rick Jason and William Sanderson are featured in supporting parts. There is lots of well acted scenes, car chase in New York, and the film is like a big puzzle slowly being put together. Yamamura sings a catch title song in English, but he is badly dubbed in the U.S. version. The film is highly recommended!