Over the course of a night, a sex-obsessed young woman, a suicidal man, and a gun-crazy wannabe gangster are taken prisoner of a gang awaiting a shootout between a rival gang at dawn.
Set in Osaka in the 18th century, the film centers on the doomed romance between Jihei (Kichiemon Nakamura), a down and out married paper merchant passionately in love with doe-eyed courtesan Koharu (Shima Iwashita), whom he cannot afford to buy out of servitude. Koharu herself has also fallen in love with Jihei; she even starts turning away other patrons to be with him. Their love is further imperiled by Tahei (Hosei Komatsu), a rich, obnoxious merchant who flaunts his ability to buy Koharu's indenture. Suicide is the only way for the two to be together.
Other than their joint appearance as sidemen on Benny Golson's Time Speaks in 1983, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw had never recorded together before Double Take. At this point in their evolution, Hubbard still gets the edge (his range is wider and he cannot be surpassed technically). Although Shaw tended to play more harmonically sophisticated lines and is remarkably inventive, they are both trumpet masters. Their meeting on Double Take was more of a collaboration than a trumpet battle; in fact, the brass giants only trade off briefly on "Lotus Blossom."