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Yôkihi (1955)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  17 September 1956 (USA)
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In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Yôkihi (1955)

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Machiko Kyô ...
Eitarô Shindô ...
Kao Li-hsi
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Yang Kuo-chung (as Sakae Ozawa)
Haruko Sugimura ...
Princess Yen-chun
Yôko Minamida ...
Bontarô Miake ...
Tatsuya Ishiguro ...
Li Lin-fu
Kinzô Shin ...
Osamu Maruyama ...
Li Kuei-nien
Isao Yamagata ...
Yang Hsien
Chieko Murata ...
Michiko Ai ...
Noboru Kiritachi ...


In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over the court. General An Lushan finds a distant relative working in their kitchen whom they groom to present to the Emperor. The Emperor falls in love with her and she becomes the Princess Yang Kwei-fei. The Yangs are then appointed important ministers, though An Lushan is not given the court position he covets. The ministers misuse their power so much that there is a popular revolt against all the Yangs, fueled by An Lushan. Written by Will Gilbert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

emperor | court | china | power | love | See All (21) »


From the Pool of the Maidens...Long-Ago Cathay...A Serving Girl Too Beautiful to be True...Step Into History...In a Story Too Beautiful to Miss...A Magnificent New Film from Japan!


Drama | History | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

17 September 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Princess Yang Kwei-fei  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the only foreign language film released in the United States by Buena Vista Film Distribution (owned by Walt Disney Productions) See more »


Remade as The Magnificent Concubine (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

truly great color photography
12 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing this film more than two years ago, and while the entire story is not very memorable (I could probably not tell everything that happens in it now, which is perhaps more my fault than the filmmaker), I have a fond memory of seeing it in visual beauty. Kenji Mizogichi, a filmmaker I admire from Ugetsu, has here a very lushly made film, with perfectly constructed sets that spark a tinge of both fable and centuries-gone reality, and costumes that compliment the color photography. And that part, of capturing the images, is maybe the best thing that can be recommendable about the film. For a film about a Princess who was once lower on the ranks in the Emperor's home and becomes the Emperor's love interest, it provides such opportunities for a real vision to set in to guide it all.

Mizoguchi provides it with his cinematographer Kôhei Sugiyama in order sometimes for the film to be told almost all on visual terms (the filmmaker was most prolific in the silent-film era). So in the end, even as the story becomes a little cluttered with some scenes, it's never too complex due to the basics that the filmmaker is going for- and probably why it was picked up by Buena Vista distribution in the 1950s- a beautiful scope of Japan's regal side mixed with some of the lower classes. It's like a Shakespearean tale if it was superimposed into Japan and given a touch of that lost-era of color photography that was only matched by Powell/Pressburger's films.

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