MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 5,666 this week

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)
"Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  25 June 1963 (USA)
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 2,085 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 38 critic

A middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Sundance 2015

Watch our IMDb & AIV Sundance Studio Interviews with Keith Simanton

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 29 titles
created 23 Oct 2010
 
a list of 49 titles
created 13 Jan 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 07 Apr 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 21 Feb 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 10 Sep 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of When a Woman Ascends the Stairs.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The personal tales of various prostitutes who occupy a Japanese brothel.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Machiko Kyô, Aiko Mimasu, Ayako Wakao
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Keiju Kobayashi, Michiyo Aratama, Mitsuko Kusabue
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In 17th century Kyoto, Osan is married to Ishun, a wealthy miserly scroll-maker. When Osan is falsely accused of having an affair with the best worker, Mohei, the pair flee the city and ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô
Pitfall (1962)
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man wanders into a seemingly deserted town with his young son in search of work. But after a bit of bad luck, he joins the town's population of lost souls.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Hisashi Igawa, Sumie Sasaki, Sen Yano
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mikijirô Hira, Kyôko Kishida
Flowing (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Otsuta is running the geisha house Tsuta in Tokyo. Her business is heavily in debt. Her daughter Katsuyo doesn't see any future in her mothers trade in the late days of Geisha. But Otsuta ... See full summary »

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Isuzu Yamada, Hideko Takamine
Mother (1952)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A teenaged girl witnesses her widowed mother's attempt to sustain her family.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Kyôko Kagawa, Eiji Okada
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Sumiko Kurishima, Tatsuo Saitô, Atsushi Arai
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Director: Tomu Uchida
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Sachiko Hidari, Kôji Mitsui
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Yûzô Kayama, Yôko Tsukasa, Mitsuko Kusabue
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Akira Takarada, Tsutomu Yamazaki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Single mum (father of child dead) from the country with 6th grade boy comes to Tokyo, leaves the boy to live with his uncle's family - wife... See full synopsis »

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Jun Fujimaki, Kamatari Fujiwara
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Keiko Yashiro
...
Nobuhiko Fujisaki
Reiko Dan ...
Junko Inchihashi
...
Kenichi Komatsu, the manager
Daisuke Katô ...
Matsukichi Sekine
Ganjirô Nakamura ...
Goda
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Minobe
Keiko Awaji ...
Yuri
Jun Tatara
Yû Fujiki
Masao Oda
Ken Mitsuda
Chikako Hosokawa
Sadako Sawamura
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Toshiko Higuchi
Edit

Storyline

This is the story of Mama, a.k.a. Keiko, a middle-aged bar hostess who must choose to either get married or buy a bar of her own. Her family hounds her for money, her customers for her attention, and she is continually in debt. The life of a bar hostess is examined as well as the way in which the system traps and sometimes kills those in it. Written by PastaQueen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bar | money | bar hostess | widow | ginza | See All (12) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Surely it is time Naruse was discovered in the West
13 November 2013 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

The stairs in question are those of a bar in the red-light district of Tokyo and the woman who ascends them is Mama-San, the bar's chief hostess, but the stairs may just as well be those of a brothel for the girls who work these bars are basically prostitutes, (even in Japan in 1960 you could never be that explicit). Of all Japanese directors Mikio Naruse was the one most concerned with the plight of women in contemporary society and he brought to his tales of women fallen on hard times an almost Sirkian sensibility though even Sirk's melodramas stayed clear of the brothel. This may also be the most 'westernized' of all Naruse's films. We could be in the New Orleans of "Walk on the wild side" and even the credits of this film have a touch of the Saul Bass about them. (If only Dmytryk's film could have been this good). There is a naturalism to Naruse's film that American melodramas lack and it's this naturalism that lifts it out of being mere melodrama and into the realms of tragedy. Fundamentally, Mama-San is a woman who hates the life she has chosen but feels powerless to move on and Hideko Takamine, (from "Floating Clouds"), is superb in the role. Yet here is an actress and a director whose work never really traveled beyond Japan and even today Naruse trails in popular opinion well behind the likes of Ozu and Mizoguchi. Hopefully the release of this film in a DVD box set together with "Floating Clouds" and "Late Chrysanthemums" will rectify


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The music Balok-2
Discuss When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?