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14 user 35 critic

Higanbana (1958)

A businessman clashes with his elder daughter over her choice of a husband.

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(original story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
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...
...
...
...
Masahiko Taniguchi
Teiji Takahashi ...
Shotaru Kondo
...
...
Shukichi Mikami
Chieko Naniwa ...
Hatsu Sasaki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yôko Chimura ...
Nurse
Ureo Egawa ...
Schoolmate Nakanishi
Gazan Hasegawa
Aiko Ikumi ...
Inn maid
Kentarô Imai ...
Station attendant
Masahiko Inoue ...
Station attendant
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Storyline

A business man is often approached by friends for advice and help regarding marriage as well as family and romantic relationships. He is always very calmly and objectively able to give great insight and assistance to these particular situations. However, when it comes time for him to be objective regarding his oldest daughter, he finds it very difficult... Written by Karl Engel <cassiel@ix.netcom.com>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

June 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fleurs d'équinoxe  »

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(Agfacolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Yasujirô Ozu's first film in color. See more »


Soundtracks

Home, Sweet Home
Written by H.R. Bishop (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Consistency is overrated
20 March 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is Ozu's first color film, and also one of his more lighthearted later films. It also stands out as perhaps his first film where he unambiguously takes the side of rebellious youth over the wisdom of age.

In a universally great cast, Shin Saburi plays a typical Japanese father - a successful executive with a nice home life, two lovely daughters, and a dutiful wife. He is, by the standards of the time, an open minded and liberal man who, we see from the very beginning, welcomes the idea of a marriage based on love, rather than the more traditional arrangements, such as his own marriage. He is also very much a hypocrite as he (provoked by a clumsy attempt to ask for his hand) refuses his elder daughter permission to marry the man she loves. His objection to the marriage has less to do with the suitor than, it seems, his feelings that his paternal authority has been undermined.

As with all Ozu films, it gradually meanders to its close with a general acceptance by all the characters that life goes on and that only by tolerating each other can society move forward. The tone of the film is more comic than usual (some very amusing scenes), and it lacks the emotional punch of some other Ozu films. It is a bit more loosely plotted than usual, with an unusually contrived plot by Ozu standards, but its still a pleasant and wise film.

One standout performance is the quietest of them all - the great actress Kinuyo Tanaka plays the traditional wife. In one crucial scene, the camera lingers on her face as she is quietly absorbed in listening to music on the radio - telling us all we need to know about this woman who has sacrificed her individuality for her husband and family. It is in little moments of magic like this that Ozu films show why they are essential viewing - this film, while not one of his major works, is no exception.


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