In Tokyo in 1888, Kikunosuke Onoue, the adoptive son of an important actor, discovers that he is praised for his acting only because he is his father's heir, and that the troupe complains ... See full summary »
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
Where have you been? Why act like nothing's happened?
[Kihachi hits Otoki repeatedly]
She apologized. Why hit her?
[Father hits son]
You're to blame too. Don't you know how much your mother worries about you?
[the men fight. Kihachi falls down]
What are you doing? Who do you think he is? The man you hit just now is your father.
[Kihachi scratches his back]
I have no father like him. My father was a civil servant. He's dead. If my father was alive, he'd never have abandoned us 20 years ago. All ...
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This is one of the earliest Ozu films widely available, and the Criterion version is outstanding in quality.
Its a perfect example of Ozu at his best. Its a gem of a film - beautifully shot, a perfect structure, funny, sad and fascinating. The story is simple enough - a traveling troupe arrive at a town, not realizing the reason the chief actor picked the town is because an old flame of his lives here with his son. His current girlfriend in her jealousy tries to stir things up, but things don't turn out as either expect.
What is most striking about the film is just how modern it seems. The characters are believable and funny, the female characters are strong and willful, while even the minor characters are nicely sketched out. The acting is nothing short of brilliant, which makes the whole film very entertaining - this is no period piece of academic interest only, its a great work of art and a wonderful film - a masterpiece really.
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