Sep 122022

A Fugitive From the Past debuts on Blu-ray tArrow Video program featuring a new 1080p transfer and several scene-specific commentary tracks. This is available on September 27th.



A Fugitive From the Past

Genre(s): Drama, Crime
Arrow Video| NR – 183 min. – $34.95 | September 27, 2022

Date Published: 09/12/2022 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Tomu Uchida
Writer(s): Tsutomu Minakami (novel); Naoyuki Suzuki (screenplay)
Cast: Rentaro Mikuni, Sachiko Hidari, Junzaburo Ban, Ken Takakura, Koji Mitsui

Features: Select-Scene Commentaries, Theatrical Trailer, Image Gallery
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: Japanese (PCM 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 48.50 GB
Total Bitrate: 27.59 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A



In 1947, a freak typhoon sends a passenger ferry running between Hokkaido and mainland Japan plunging to the ocean depths, with hundreds of lives lost. During the chaos, three men are witnessed fleeing a burning pawnshop in the Hokkaido port town of Iwanai. The police suspect theft and arson, and when Detective Yumisaka (JUNZABURO BAN) discovers the burned remains of a boat and the corpses of two men, he sets about tracking the shadowy third figure. Meanwhile, the mysterious Takichi Inukai (Rentaro Mikuni) takes shelter with a prostitute, Yae (SACHIKO HIDARI), a brief encounter that will come to define both of their lives. A decade later, long after the trail has gone cold, Yumisaka is called back by his successor Detective Ajimura (KEN TAKAKURA) as two new dead bodies are found.



This release comes housed in a HD keep case and comes with a booklet.

Introduction (26:52) is an appreciation of the movie from curator and writer Jasper Sharp.

Scene-Specific Commentaries:

  • The Fugitive Past of Tomu Uchida and Modern Japan (17:47) — Professor Aaron Gerow
  • Chaos and Order (22:31) — Professor Earl Jackson
  • Cinematography of Hunger: Tomu Uchida and the Toei W 106 System (8:15) — Professor Daisuke Miyao
  • Sachiko Hidari: Stardom and Characterisation (15:44) — Dr. Irene Gonzalez-Lopez
  • The Haunting Voice of Karma: Isao Tomita’s Music (32:11) — Candidate in Philosophy Erik Homenick
  • In-Betweenness (13:54) — Professor Alexander Zahlten

Although I would’ve liked a feature-length commentary, each of these individuals gives their insights into the project and cultural impacts. I guess it’s better than them being spliced together into a single audio commentary track.

Theatrical Trailer (3:56)


VIDEO – 5/5, AUDIO – 4½/5

A Fugitive From the Past comes to Blu-ray from Arrow Video and the high-definition master was supplied by Toei using the best available archival materials with additional restoration by Arrow Films. As it is, this is a glorious looking 1080p HD picture with sharp and well defined detail throughout and great dispersion of the black and white elements. There were no obvious signs of artifacts, aliasing or other significant flaws.

Just about equally as impressive was the Japanese language PCM Mono track which offers up clear dialogue levels and some decent depth for a singular track. I didn’t discern any pops, hisses or other issues with the lossless audio.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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