8.2/10
2,676
17 user 44 critic

Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (1960)

Not Rated | | Drama | 25 June 1963 (USA)
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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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
Chieko Nakakita ...
Tomoko
Jun Tatara
Yû Fujiki
Masao Oda
Ken Mitsuda
Chikako Hosokawa
Sadako Sawamura
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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 | debt | middle aged | drunk | See All (32) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Matsukichi Sekine: [to Keiko] Would you laugh if I proposed to you?
Matsukichi Sekine: [Keiko appears uncomfortable, remains silent] I know. No need to answer. I just wanted to say it once. Pretend I never said it. Bye.
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User Reviews

 
Great title, solid movie
1 September 2014 | by (Croatia) – See all my reviews

I like the movie, but it has some drawbacks. One of the main problems with When a Woman Ascends the Stairs is having quite a few pointless or uninteresting characters and sometimes prolonging the plot to a tedious degree.

However, I'll give this movie credit for having strong performances from nearly everyone involved, especially the lovely Hideko Takamine in her leading role. Also, this is the only '60s Japanese film noir I've seen so far that has a smooth, jazzy soundtrack and Saul Bass-like opening credits. The black and white cinematography is beautiful to look at, especially the shots of Gonza at night. Despite having a slow start, it gets gradually more and more interesting as the plot unfolds and the final 10 minutes are great. It's not the best movie I've seen Takamine in, but it's overall very interesting.

So, I guess it's 8,5/10 then. I'm interested in seeing more Mikio Naruse films.


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