A man getting on in years sets out to find a way to resurrect his flagging virility.

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ikuko Kenmochi
Ganjirô Nakamura ...
Kenji Kenmochi
Junko Kanô ...
Toshiko Kenmochi
...
Kimura
Tanie Kitabayashi ...
Hana
Ichirô Sugai ...
Masseur
Mantarô Ushio ...
Dr. Kodama
Kyû Sazanka ...
Curio dealer
Mayumi Kurata ...
Koike
Hikaru Hoshi ...
Police detective
Tatsuo Hanabu
Kenji Ôyama
Shôzô Nanbu
Kôichi Itô
Kanji Kawahara
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Storyline

An ageing antique specialist in Kyoto, Japan is losing virility but finds himself excited when he deliberately makes his daughter's boyfriend attracted to his younger beautiful wife. Things begin to spiral as his health declines and the plotted becomes the plotting. Written by animalover-1

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The Most Intimate Motion Picture Ever Made!

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Drama

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Release Date:

12 May 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Key  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Version of La chiave (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Ichikawa's best
5 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I've admired other Ichikawa films, particularly "Alone on the Pacific" and "Fires on the Plains." With the possible exception of Klimov's "Come and See" the latter is the most harrowing war film I've ever seen. However, I couldn't get on with "Odd Obsession,"and can't understand why it won awards. I saw it many years ago, and foolishly tried it again last night. I kept falling asleep: it's a legitimate form of criticism and no, I hadn't been drinking. The film starts with Tatsuya Nakadai (star of many Japanese classics), as Dr. Kimura, detailing how humans decline over the years. He points straight at the camera and says this decrepitude will come to us all, so you know this film is going to be different. The doctor is giving an old man injections to treat his impotence (no Viagra in those days), and the old boy invites him to his home, hoping that the doctor, who's already involved with his daughter, will dally with his young wife. The idea is that jealousy will revive his flagging libido. One problem is that while the male actors are interesting, the women are not. I don't know why, from a land with so many exquisite and enchanting actresses, Ichikawa chose two puddings, with particularly unfortunate eyebrows. I don't know the younger one, but Machiko Kyo (from "Rashomon" and "Teahouse of the August Moon") was normally attractive. The old man has high blood pressure, and the wife seems intent on finishing him off by over-exciting him, so maybe Ichikawa made her look ugly to mirror the ugliness inside the character. Another problem was Japanese inscrutability. Nobody seemed passionate about, or even very interested in, anyone else. It was hard to see why the doctor went along with their games. The son of a fisherman, he was young, handsome and ambitious, so why did he bother with two women with neither beauty or money? (the old man had reputation but no means.)


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