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Conduct Report on Professor Ishinaka is an anthology comedy that has three stories that are connected by the peripheral presence of the title character. Professor Ishinaka is a novelist who is vacationing in a small town who enjoys watching the foibles of the people around him. In the first story he helps two men who are looking for some barrels of gas that were buried in a field. In the second story, two families are torn apart over a quarrel that is started when a burlesque show comes to town. The final story is about a young woman who gets flustered when a fortune teller tells her she is going to meet her husband within the next 24 hours. For someone who has a movie named after him, Professor Ishinaka actually plays a minor role. He is more of a bystander, although he always gives crucial advice to the characters at just the right moment.
The movie is directed by Mikio Naruse, many of whose later movies would become world classics. This movie is nothing like those movies, but it is not without its charms. The location footage is sometimes quite beautiful, and there are various cultural items such as parades, village dances, etc. to keep a viewer's interest. (One bizarre but interesting incident that stood out for me was when a police officer was called to fill out an authentication of virginity certificate.) There is also a young Toshiro Mifune playing against type as a young lunkhead farmer. With a goofy haircut and clothes that seem to be too small for him, he looks like an overgrown nerd.
Overall, this movie is not a world classic, but it is certainly an enjoyable piece of fluff.
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