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The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939)
"Zangiku monogatari" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  15 January 1979 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,492 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 14 critic

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 »

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Title: The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939)

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shôtarô Hanayagi ...
Kikunosuke Onoue
Kôkichi Takada ...
Fukusuke Nakamura
Gonjurô Kawarazaki ...
Kikugoro Onoue
Kakuko Mori ...
Otoku
Tokusaburo Arashi ...
Shikan Nakamura
...
Osata
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nobuko Fushimi ...
Onaka
Kikuko Hanaoka ...
Eiryu
Kisho Hanayagi ...
Tamisaburo Onoue
Ryôtarô Kawanami ...
Eiju Dayu
Yoneko Mogami ...
Otsura, Genshun's daughter
Tamitaro Onoue ...
Tamizo Onoue
Benkei Shiganoya ...
Genshun Amma
Fujiko Shirakawa
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Storyline

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 how bad he is behind his back. The only person to talk to him honestly about his acting is Otoku, the wet-nurse of his adoptive father's child. She is fired by the family, and Kikunosuke is forbidden to see her, because of the gossip a relationship with a servant would cause. Kikunosuke falls in love with Otoku, and leaves home to try to make a living on his own merits outside Tokyo. He is eventually joined by Otoku, who encourages him to become a famous actor to regain the recognition of his family. Written by Will Gilbert

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Plot Keywords:

actor | acting | wet nurse | love | truth | See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

15 January 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zangiku monogatari  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Possibly Mizoguchi's finest pre-war film
30 July 2002 | by (Ottawa) – See all my reviews

Along with "Sisters of the Gion"(1936) and "Osaka Elegy"(1936), "Zangiku monogatari" is a strong candidate for Kenji Mizoguchi's finest pre-war film. It is one of the greatest and most beautiful films I have ever seen - a profoundly sublime, heartbreaking love story between a Kabuki actor(Shotaro Hanayagi) and working class servant (Kakuko Mori) who makes sacrifices to herself to ensure his theatrical success. The film, filled with dazzling long takes and rich Sternbergian compositions, centers on Mizoguchi's characteristic theme: the shallowness of men and the generosity of women. Rarely has a Mizoguchi film seem at once so sublime and devastating in its impact. The final sequence alone is among the finest in all of cinema.

My favorite Mizoguchi remains "The Life of Oharu"(1952); "Zangiku monogatari" is not very far behind.


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