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A Story of Floating Weeds (1934)

Ukikusa monogatari (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | January 1994 (USA)
A kabuki actor's mistress hatches a jealous plot to bring down her lover's son.

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, (story) (as James Maki)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Takeshi Sakamoto ...
Chôko Iida ...
Kôji Mitsui ...
Shinkichi (as Hideo Mitsui)
Rieko Yagumo ...
Otaka
Yoshiko Tsubouchi ...
Tomio Aoki ...
Tomi-boh
Reikô Tani ...
Tomibo's father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kiyoshi Aono ...
Sword trainer
Mariko Aoyama ...
Barber's landlady
Mitsumura Ikebe ...
Villager
Seiji Nishimura ...
Kichi, an actor
Mitsuru Wakamiya ...
Station attendant
Emiko Yagumo
Nagamasa Yamada ...
Maako, an actor
Munenobu Yui
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Storyline

A troupe of actors comes to town, short on funds and bedeviled by bad weather, so they can't put on shows. Kihachi is the troupe's leader. He steals off every day to visit Otsune (an ex-lover) and their son, Shinkichi, who believes his father is a long-dead civil servant. Kihachi has been paying Shinkichi's tuition, and he's now at university. Kihachi's lover, Otaka, the troupe's lead actress, learns Kihachi's secret and plots to ruin Shinkichi and humiliate Kihachi: she offers money to Otoki, the troupe's ingénue, to seduce Shinkichi. Soon the boy is head over heels, and Otoki finds herself with feelings for him. Can this end well or is tragedy at hand? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Story of Floating Weeds  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Shinkichi: Uncle? Where is Uncle?
Otsune, Ka-yan: You mean Father?
[Shinkihi nods]
Otsune, Ka-yan: He went on the road again. Don't try to stop him. Just be a great man. That's all he wants. Since you were born, he's been coming here with that one hope in mind.
[Shinkichi and Otoki cry. Shot of the daruma doll]
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Connections

Remade as Floating Weeds (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of Ozu's best silents
31 March 2015 | by (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

Warning: Some plot points are revealed in this review

One of the last silent films by Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu (later remade by Ozu himself in in color in 1959) is about a traveling kabuki troupe arriving to a small town in Japan. The troupe's leader, Kihachi (Takeshi Sakamoto) uses the occasion to meet his old lover and their grown son (who believes Kihachi is his uncle), but his current lover Otaka (pretty, ethereal Rieko Yagumo) does not appreciate this when she learns about it, so she convinces a fellow actress of the troupe to seduce Kihachi's son. Kihachi, obviously, doesn't react well either when he learns about this. Reportedly, Ozu based this film on an American film from 1928 called "The Barker".

There are few differences from the 1959 remake. For instance, here the kabuki troupe arrives to a mountain town in a train, instead of arriving to a coastal village by boat. Secondary characters are less shown. But mostly, both films are very similar, almost scene by scene, including the famous part where they are shouting over each other across a rainy street or the finale with Kihachi and his now reconciled lover drinking sake in the night train. The actor playing Kihachi, though, is about two decades younger than Ganjiro Nakamuro in the 1959 version.

Overall, this movie is not, in my opinion, as accomplished as the remake, but is still very well worth seeing, and one of the highlights of Ozu's silent films.


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