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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