IMDb > Women of the Night (1948)

Women of the Night (1948) More at IMDbPro »Yoru no onnatachi (original title)

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Release Date:
28 February 1979 (USA) See more »
A mistress of a drug dealer in post-war Japan is shocked when she discovers that he is having an affair with her sister. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
good melodrama but not Mizoguchi's best See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Kinuyo Tanaka ... Fusako Owada
Sanae Takasugi ... Natsuko Kimijima
Tomie Tsunoda ... Kumiko Owada
Mitsuo Nagata ... Kenzô Kuriyama
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hiroshi Aoyama
Fusako Maki
Kikue Môri
Sadako Sawamura
Ken Tanaka
Minpei Tomimoto
Kumeko Urabe ... brothel-keeper

Directed by
Kenji Mizoguchi 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Eijirô Hisaita  novel "Joseimatsuri"
Yoshikata Yoda  story

Produced by
Hisao Itoya .... producer
Original Music by
Hisato Osawa 
Cinematography by
Kôhei Sugiyama 
Film Editing by
Tatsuko Sakane 
Production Design by
Hiroshi Mizutani 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Yoru no onnatachi" - Japan (original title)
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75 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
good melodrama but not Mizoguchi's best, 6 February 2010
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Women of the Night is absorbing as a story of post-war malaise among women, of a lack of hope in their futures. It continues Kenji Mizogichi's body of work dedicated to showing women in a society that is perpetually against them, to greater or lesser degrees (usually greater, depending on time and place). While his final film, Street of Shame, is probably his best and most entertaining, this film does have some memorable moments. It tells of two women, one of whom finds out near the start of the film that her husband has died, and after this becomes a "fallen woman" by being a drug dealer's woman on the side. Another drifts into prostitution, or rather almost becomes it, and the two of them get swept up into a women's prison-cum-hospital. One of them, eventually, escapes (this is the most visually striking single shot in the film, by the way, tracking as she struggles across the wire fence).

It's slow moving, even for 73 minutes, though to be fair the American cut feels like it's been cut up, so a recommendation may be half-hearted by default (sometimes it's hard to tell, other times, it looks like an editor cut right into a scene just when it's about to get really good). The performances by Tanaka and Takasuhi, and the actress playing Kumiko, a friend of their characters, are all strong to the degree they're asked, and the climax of the film carries some real power even in the midst of the melodrama and the whole "maybe we have screwed up our lives and should go home" conclusion forced on an audience. But Mizoguchi's aim is, for the most part, met: give the audience a view of this underworld of women without solid footing, and ask why this really is the way it is when these women could be doing other things or working as opposed to just being married or like this. And at the same time make them all human, and not (too) stereotyped. It's ultimately hopeful, but some cynicism in the process goes a long way.

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