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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  25 June 1963 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 2,133 users  
Reviews: 16 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.

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

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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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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

 
Dated study of sexism in 1950s Japanese society
12 March 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having watched and enjoyed Mikio Naruse's LATE CHRYSANTHEMUMS, I was hoping WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS would be of a similar quality. Looks-wise it is, but unfortunately the story in in this one is lacking, failing to present any truly sympathetic characters and instead making the film often dull and a chore to sit through.

The problem here lies with the protagonist, who just doesn't seem to be a very interesting character. Yes, her struggles in a male-dominated society have the potential to be interesting, but the film seems to constantly skip drama in favour of presenting humdrum, everyday-life style scenes. Certainly there was nothing here to grip or interest the viewer as in Naruse's earlier film.


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