In Tokyo, Osen is the servant girl of an unscrupulous antiques dealer, Kumazawa, who takes in the penniless Sokichi Hata. Kumazawa mistreats Sokichi and Osen, while swindling some Buddhist ... See full summary »
In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her... See full summary »
Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over ... See full summary »
Young servant girl Hamako has just started working for her personal hero, Madame Yuki. Her romanticized view of the Madame is broken immediately, as she is introduced with a list of the Madame's personal problems.
Shinnosuke is introduced to Shizu as a prospective marriage partner, but he falls in love with her widowed sister Oyu. Convention forbids Oyu to marry because she has to raise her son as ... See full summary »
In 1701, Lord Takuminokami Asano has a feud with Lord Kira and he tries to kill Kira in the corridors of the Shogun's palace. The Shogun sentences Lord Asano to commit suppuku and deprives ... See full summary »
Director Michael Apted revisits the same group of British-born adults after a 7 year wait. The subjects are interviewed as to the changes that have occurred in their lives during the last ... See full summary »
Utamaro, a great artist, lives to create portraits of beautiful women, and the brothels of Tokyo provide his models. A world of passion swirls around him, as the women in his life vie for ... See full summary »
Oyuki the Virgin was Mizoguch's second sound movie, and like many early sound movies, it does not hold up particularly well today. There are a few interesting exterior scenes and a couple tracking shots, but most scenes are indifferently shot on what are clearly sets. The acting from a couple of the actors is over the top and long stretches of silence also help stifle the drama. (Background music might have helped with this but there is only a little at the very end of the movie.) Yet there are still some aspects of the movies that make it worthwhile viewing for fans of early Japanese movies.
The first half of the movie is loosely based on the Guy de Maupassant short story Boule de Suif. A cross section of society are forced to share a coach as they escape a town that gets caught up in a civil war. After the characters get off of the coach, the story goes off in a different direction and, unfortunately, becomes less compelling. It is interesting to see however early versions of themes that Mizoguchi would explore in his later movies, such as sacrifices by women, love across social classes and how war brings out the worst (and best) in people. This movie also boasts having probably the only shootout in a Mizoguchi movie. That ought to make it worth watching by itself.
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