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Shûbun (1950)

 -  Drama  -  17 July 1964 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,773 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 32 critic

A paparazzi photo sparks a court case as a tabloid magazine spins a scandalous yarn over a painter and a famous singer.

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Title: Shûbun (1950)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ichirô Aoye
Shirley Yamaguchi ...
Miyako Saijo (as Yoshiko Yamaguchi)
Yôko Katsuragi ...
Masako Hiruta
Noriko Sengoku ...
Sumie
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Hori
...
Attorney Hiruta
Shin'ichi Himori ...
Editor Asai
Ichirô Shimizu ...
Arai
Fumiko Okamura ...
Miyako's mother
Masao Shimizu ...
Judge
Tanie Kitabayashi ...
Yasu Hiruta
Sugisaku Aoyama ...
Dr. Kataoka
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Old Man A
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Old Man B
Bokuzen Hidari ...
Drunk
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Storyline

Ichiro Aoye, a young painter, encounters a famous singer, Miyako Saijo, while on holiday in the mountains. He gives her a ride and coincidentally stays at the same inn. A tabloid magazine specializing in scandals blows this encounter up into a huge falsehood designed to humiliate Miyako, who has been uncooperative with the press. Ichiro sues, but his lawyer, needing money for his sick daughter's treatment, accepts a bribe to throw the case. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tabloid | singer | painter | mountain | press | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 July 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escándalo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story for the film was inspired by real events from Japanese tabloids writing things about celebrities; specifically a famous actress. Akira Kurosawa wrote about the nameless actress in his autobiography, saying "I reacted as if the thing had been said about me" describing the tabloid as using a "weapon of publicity" against someone. See more »

Soundtracks

Connais-tu le pays
(uncredited)
from the opera "Mignon"
Music by Ambroise Thomas
Lyrics by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
Sung through the film by Shirley Yamaguchi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Least Interesting Kurosawa Film I Have Seen So Far
21 July 2008 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

Kurosawa's Scandal is thus far my least favorite of all of his films. It tells the most kindergarten of yarns: Two celebrities accidentally meet during a holiday staying at the same hotel. In an easily misunderstood situation each other, tabloid photographers seek revenge on them for rejecting interviews by taking a picture of them and fabricating a love story about them. There is a scandal, and a lawsuit eventually battles the paparazzi. Despite Kurosawa's message pertaining to the post-war Americanization of Japan in terms of the media, could a single pop culture magazine dominate the entire media the way it's depicted to in the story?

The narrative is so clearcut and unsurprising with its message-obsessed subject, the good guys are practically perfect with complete humility and no character flaws and the bad guys are cocky jerks with no redeemable values.

It's not a terrible film, however. It is, after all, directed by Akira Kurosawa who, aside from showcasing an obvious scenario about the shrewdly dishonest media, explores the Japanese cultural perception of weakness. Weakness is something intolerable in Japanese culture, yet good enough people can understand a naturally weak person. Weakness is an organic part of someone. It comes from sensitivity, feelings of inferiority, harsh luck, all of which the character of the lawyer has, and as hard as it is for the surrounding characters to do, they understand it when he gives into weakness.

I prefer the last half of the movie by a landslide because it becomes more about the lawyer wrestling with his own guilt. It's a story that would never be found in an American film because of the cultural differences and how bound to accords the Japanese feel.


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