Classic early drama from Japanese master Akira Kurosawa which pays homage to the Warner Brothers' thirties gangster movies. Takashi Shimura plays the drunken angel of the title, a doctor working in a devastatingly poor area of immediately-post-war Tokyo. The area is overrun with competing gangsters who have lost most of their power during the American occupation. Toshiro Mifune - in the first leading role that made him a star - plays a handsome young hoodlum who one night comes to the doctor's surgery with a small bullet wound in his hand. The doctor treats the wound but also diagnoses Mifune as having tuberculosis. The gangster's arrogance prevents him from acknowledging his illness, but his position within his organisation increasingly comes under threat.