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

 -  Drama  -  25 June 1963 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 2,111 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.

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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 »
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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

Yuri: Just between us, I'm deep in debt. It's taking its toll... I borrowed so much to get started, that now I'm in a pinch.
[laughs]
Keiko Yashiro: Don't laugh. What'll you do?
Yuri: I've decided to die. Isn't that a great idea? They say sleeping pills work quite well.
Keiko Yashiro: [Looking dismayed] Yuri!
Yuri: Just kidding. It'll be a staged suicide. I won't actually die. I'll just fake it to hold off the creditors. Shocked?
Keiko Yashiro: Not shocked... impressed.
See more »

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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.


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

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