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Swastika (1964)

Manji (original title)
| Drama, Romance | 1968 (USA)
A childless housewife falls in love with a beautiful model.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Ayako Wakao ...
Mitsuko Tokumitsu
...
Sonoko Kakiuchi
Eiji Funakoshi ...
Kôtarô Kakiuchi
Yûsuke Kawazu ...
Eijirô Watanuki
Kyû Sazanka ...
Principal
Ken Mitsuda ...
Novelist
Yûzô Hayakawa
Fumiko Murata ...
Ume, Tokumitsu's maid
Reiko Hibiki ...
Haru, Izutsuya's maid
Kyoko Nagumo ...
Kiyo, Kakiuchi's maid
Kuniko Tomita
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Storyline

Sonoko, a bored housewife entering middle age, met a young girl, Mitsuko, at a private school of art. Sonoko paints a portrait of her, and when she invite Mitsuko at her house, the two end up locked in a passionate embrace. Unable to think rationally about what she wants, Sonoko becomes steadily more obsessed with her new lover. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>, corrections by _Benares_

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Swastika  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited into Twisted Sex Vol. 17 (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mitsuko – my favorite woman from Tokyo
9 June 2010 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

I really love this film, for no better reason than to watch, eyes agape and heart throbbing, at the beautiful performance of Ayako Wakao as Mitsuko. Mitsuko is SO charming, seductive and sexy in this, that I almost pay no attention to the somewhat twisty plot of the movie. It has something to do with wily women working their wicked ways on each other and a couple of men in their lives. And it all ends up in a sort of crazy, tragic finale. But none of that really matters to me. What's important is to watch Mitsuko – truly one of the most charmingly seductive flirts to ever grace the screen.

I marvel at every breathless syllable, every sly tilt of the head, every deceitful flicker of the eyes that this woman carries out. Perfection! Nice hair, too! She is so fluid and natural, that one never entertains the notion that this is an actress performing a role. I've had the opportunity to see Ms. Wakao in other films, where she can be much more cold and reserved, so this performance of hers in Manji was truly a pleasant surprise, and really, quite a gift to someone like me who appreciates a woman's charm and beauty – in spite of the fact that, in this film anyway, it's all for the most manipulative of reasons.

I would add that there is excellent supporting work done by Kyoko Kishida (Sonoko) who plays opposite Mitsuko as the woman who falls irrevocably under her spell. Her final line at the end of the movie is so heart-wrenchingly memorable. (I couldn't help but think that it would have been great if they could have gotten Toshiro Mifune to play the part of her husband.)

The DVD from which I viewed this (2002 release, letterbox format) is a very nice transfer but for one small segment where, for some strange reason, the colors nearly vanished and the picture went to a near-sepia tone. The movie was beautifully filmed - thankfully in color - and features nice use of color in areas such as costumes and set design. And I'll just add one more gratuitous nod to the beauty of Mitsuko: the use of color ensures that she looks ravishing in her print dresses. One other area of note: the very effective background music. At times it has a rather somber, foreboding element, somewhat resembling the slow, deliberate piano intro of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

All in all a nicely done, memorable movie, but I'll always remember it for Mitsuko.


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