Snow Trail

Japan Release: 1947
Running Time:
89 minutes

Snow Trail

Japanese Title

[Ginrei no Hate]

Distributor: Production:


A major bank heist is committed and the three crooks responsible—Nojiri, Eijima, and Takasugi—flee into the Japanese Alps. The police follow and chase them from a hot springs hotel to a forestry station and finally into a dangerous snowy valley. During the pursuit, a gunshot triggers a massive avalanche, in which Takasugi is killed. Nojiri and Eijima survive and go deeper into the wilderness. Eventually, they reach a ski lodge inhabited by an old man, his granddaughter, and a visiting mountain climbing expert. Nojiri becomes friendly with their newfound companions, but Eijima just wants to get back on the run before the police catch up…even if it means taking the mountain climber hostage.

Live Action

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews


International Title

Snow Trail

Initial US Title

US Distributor: - / Time: -

Alternate Titles

To the Ends of the Snow-capped Mountain
[Literal translation]




Directed by Senkichi Taniguchi
Writing credits Akira Kurosawa, Senkichi Taniguchi
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Akira Ifukube
Cinematography by Junichi Segawa
Film Editing by Senkichi Taniguchi, Akira Kurosawa
Production Design by Taizo Kawashima
Assistant Directors Jin Usami, Kihachi Okamoto, Mikio Komatsu
Eijima Toshiro Mifune
Nojiri Takashi Shimura
Takasugi Yoshio Kosugi
Honda Akitake Kono
Harubo Setsuko Wakayama
Harubo's Grandfather Kokuten Kodo
Shikanoyu Hotel Owner Fusataro Ishijima
Maids Haruko Toyama, Chizuko Okamura
Students Toshio Kasai, Ko Ishida
Investigation Chief Eisaburo Sakauchi
Chief Detective Taizo Fukami
Detective Fumio Omachi
Reporter Kenzo Asada
Kiuemon Nobumitsu Morozuki
Lumberjacks Mitsuo Tsuda, Fumiyoshi Kumagawa, Tokubei Hanazawa

DVDs and Blu-rays

Japan Region 2 To the Ends of the Snow-capped Mountain Toho (2004)

Background and Trivia

  • Toho registered the film with the US copyright office on December 11th, 1997. It carried the registrastion number PA0000889359. The movie was registered with its international title, Snow Trail, and the movie's Romaji title, Ginrei no Hate. The registration was a joint submission that also included One Wonderful Sunday (1947).
  • Director Senkichi Taniguchi had tremendous difficulty casting the top-billed role of the thug Eijima. He eventually found his leading man while on a train with producer Tomoyuki Tanaka. Taniguchi pointed to a tall, intimidating-looking passenger as an example of the sort of person he wanted for the role. Tanaka then revealed the man on the train worked for Toho. That man was Toshiro Mifune. This detail is found in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).
  • Despite this being his film debut, Toshiro Mifune had no interest in acting. His aspiration was to become a cameraman and he only joined Toho's acting program under the assumption he could later transfer to work in cinematography. He only agreed to take the part when director Senkichi Taniguchi offered to buy him a new set of clothes. Referenced in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).
  • Toshiro Mifune later speculated that Toho allowed him to be cast as the lead only because it would be an extremely dangerous shoot and an unknown actor was more "expendable" than a big star. Cited in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).
  • Director Senkichi Taniguchi and lead actress Setsuko Wakayama married two years after this film's release. They divorced in 1956. Detailed in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).
  • Composer Akira Ifukube, who made his film scoring debut with this movie, noted and personally lamented that his name in the staff credits was placed at the very end, after the set dresser. Cited in Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo (ISBN: 0922915474).
  • Akira Ifukube refused to work on the movie under the original title. Director Senkichi Taniguchi and writer Akira Kurosawa complied and the title was changed. Referenced in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Composer Akira Ifukube got into a quarrel with director Senkichi Taniguchi over the music used in the skiing sequence. At the film's wrap party, Ifukube was chastised by actor Yoshio Kosugi for arguing with the director, but Takashi Shimura applauded him for his audacity. Noted in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).
  • Akira Ifukube was paid only 1,000 yen for his work on the film. Mentioned in the publication Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • Kihachi Okomoto served as an assistant director on this movie. He was transferred to the production because the film was being shot on location in the mountains and Okamoto was an experienced skier. Noted in The Emperor and the Wolf (ISBN: 0571211526).


Patrick Galvan Star Rating
December 27, 2017