8.2/10
2,446
16 user 42 critic

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)

Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (original title)
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.

Director:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting ... See full summary »

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Haruko Sugimura, Ken Uehara, Sadako Sawamura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi forms an emotional bond with her pupils and teaches them various virtues, while at the same time worrying about their future.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Hideki Gôko, Itsuo Watanabe, Makoto Miyagawa
Yearning (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

19yo girl loses husband in war. Bombing destroys his family's shop and the widow stays to rebuild it as the rest of the family flee and runs it for 18 years out of love for her dead husband... See full synopsis »

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Yûzô Kayama, Mitsuko Kusabue
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A family of four are the sole inhabitants of a small island, where they struggle each day to irrigate their crops.

Director: Kaneto Shindô
Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Shinji Tanaka
Early Summer (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Chishû Ryû, Chikage Awashima
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô
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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A tragic social drama set in post war Japan and concerns a lonely women trying to find purpose and stability in a devastated Tokyo.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Mariko Okada
Repast (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Michiyo lives in the small place Osaka and is not happy with her marriage, all she does is cook and clean for her husband.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Ken Uehara, Setsuko Hara, Yukiko Shimazaki
Drama | Romance
    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 8.1/10 X  

The businessman Ogata Shingo works with his son Shuichi, who is his secretary, and they live together in the suburb with their wives Yasuko and Kikuko respectively. Shuichi has a love ... See full summary »

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Sô Yamamura, Ken Uehara
Flowing (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 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
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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Keiko Yashiro: I hate liquor, yet I drink my fill every night.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A neo-realist feminist drama worth watching
23 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

This film reminded me most of Italian neo-realist films like "Umberto D" and particularly, "Nights of Cabiria," because it focuses on the struggles of average people who are perhaps on the fringes, the subject being a bar hostess. While Keiko's not exactly a prostitute, she is paid to entertain men, a lucrative but soulless career.

As she comes to grips with aging, Keiko struggles to decide between striking out on her own or giving up the business completely. While Fate naturally deals her some ups and downs, I found it to be ultimately quite a cynical story, lacking the hope of "Cabiria." Perhaps that makes it truer to life.

Regardless, there are some outstanding performances by Hideko Takamine and Tatsuya Nakadai. This is the first Naruse film I've seen, and look forward to watching more of his films. Unfortunately, they are quite difficult to get your hands on.


2 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:
?