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8 user 15 critic

Bangiku (1954)

What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Haruko Sugimura ...
Kin
Sadako Sawamura ...
Nobu
Chikako Hosokawa ...
Tamae
Yûko Mochizuki ...
Tomi
Ken Uehara ...
Tabe
Hiroshi Koizumi ...
Kiyoshi
...
Sachiko
Bontarô Miake ...
Seki
...
Sentaro
Daisuke Katô ...
Itaya
Haruna Kaburagi ...
Shizuko
Yoshiko Tsubouchi
Yaeko Izumo
Tsuruko Mano
Toshiko Nakano
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Storyline

What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting debts. Even her best friends, Tomi, Nobu, and Tamae, who were her fellow Geisha, are now indebted to her. For all of them, the glamor of their young lives has passed; Tomi and Tamae have children, but their children have disappointed them. Kin has two former lovers who still pursue her; one she wants to see, and the other she doesn't. But even the one she remembers fondly, when he shows up, proves to be a disappointment. Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

27 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Flor do Crepúsculo  »

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User Reviews

 
A 'lost' masterpiece
17 October 2013 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Unlike those of his contemporaries, Mizoguchi, Ozu and Kurosawa, the films of Mikio Naruse are mostly unknown in the West and yet they are just as relevant and just as powerful. The "Late Chrysantehmums" of this extraordinary film are four ageing former geisha's with money problems and this is one of the most insightful of films dealing with the role of women in post-war Japanese society and not just the women at the centre who once sold their bodies but who now have nothing to barter but also the daughter of one of them who is prepared to marry an older man for financial security. Money is at the basis of everything that happens in the film and it taints the lives of all the characters. It is superbly played, particularly by those great Japanese actresses Haruko Sugimura as the moneylender Okin and Chikako Hosokawa as the drunken Otamae. Like Naruse, these two actresses never really 'crossed over' to the West and yet their work in Japanese cinema is as fine as any to have graced international cinema while this is a film on a subject that, in hindsight, would never have been tackled in Western cinema at this time. Of course that, in itself, does not make it a masterpiece but a masterpiece it is, nevertheless. It is one of the greatest of all films on the disappointments that life throws at us.


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