Naruse left Shochiku (his original film company) for PCL (the foundation company for Toho films) so that he could make sound films. And he right got to work. Major films of his first year included "Three sisters with Maiden Hearts" and the award-winning "Wife! Be Like a Rose!". This film is a minor work, in comparison. It starred Kamatari Fujiwara (of later Kurosawa fame) and two of the "three sisters with maiden hearts" -- among many others. The main focus is on the 5 member band of a small circus as it runs into problems while touring rural Japan. It also pays lots of attention to the two daughters of the aging and irascible ringmaster-circus owner. The high points are the sound (and score) and cinematography featuring a lot of vertiginous panning (appropriate - as high wire trapeze artists are also an important element in the film). A fascinating side-light on 30s Japan.
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