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Empire of Passion (1978)

Ai no bôrei (original title)
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A married woman and her lover murder her husband and dump his body into a well. After a while, his ghost comes to haunt them while the local gossip grows stronger.

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3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Toyoji
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ...
Seki
...
Gisaburo
Takuzô Kawatani ...
Inspector Hotta
Akiko Koyama ...
Mother of Landowner
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Toichiro
Sumie Sasaki ...
Odame
Eizô Kitamura
Masami Hasegawa ...
Oshin
Kenzô Kawarasaki ...
(as Kenzo Kawarazaki)
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Storyline

A young man has an affair with an older woman. He is very jealous of her husband and decides that they should kill him. One night, after the husband had plenty of sake to drink and was in bed, they strangle him and dump his body down a well. To avert any suspicions, she pretends her husband has gone off to Tokyo to work. For three years the wife and her lover secretly see each other. Finally, suspicions become very strong and people begin to gossip. To make matters worse, her husband's ghost begins to haunt her and the law arrives to investigate her husband's disappearance. Written by Kevin Risch <krisch@intranet.on.ca>

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Genres:

Drama | Horror | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

26 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Empire of Passion  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming the scene where Toyoji tries to break into the burning house by ramming the door down, Tatsuya Fuji tore three ligaments in his shoulder and dislocated his arm. Three days later, he was back on the set filming the scene where he was being hung from a tree and beaten, with his arm still in a sling (although removed between takes). See more »

Connections

Featured in Music for the Movies: Tôru Takemitsu (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exquisite tale of betrayal & revenge
21 June 2012 | by (Deutschland) – See all my reviews

People usually think of "In the Realm of the Senses" when they hear Oshima's named mentioned. That film's graphic, semi-pornographic erotic scenes overshadowed director Nagisa Oshima's talents as a film maker. I believe his "Empire of Passion" is a superior film to that 1976 production, in many ways. Here we have a beautiful, and impeccably filmed 'ghost story' that truly succeeds in being "haunting." When the rick-shaw driver returns from the dead, after his wife and her corrupt young lover have murdered him, it is truly chilling. And this film succeeds at being very erotically charged, without explicit sex included. as in Oshima's earlier film, the illicit lovers seem to be obsessively, frantically addicted to each other sexually. Their couplings are feverish, even when things start to turn very dark in their lives. As in earlier works, the two main characters seem to have no control over their sexual appetites, and danger and violence only escalate their desire. "Empire of Passion" is masterfully filmed; the scenes in the mysterious forest with sunlight filtering through the branches overhead, or amidst pounding rain storms and mist-shrouded country roads, every frame of "Empire of Passion" is beautiful and carefully filmed. The scenes of the well are especially haunting and mysterious as the story draws to it's unhappy conclusion. A feeling of bitter hopelessness permeates every frame, and there isn't really anyone to sympathise with. Everyone seems so selfish and corrupt, except for the woman's young daughter, who is caught up in her mother's treachery. It's unfortunate that this film didn't get much attention, as people were most likely expecting another shock film like "In the realm of the senses." This one must have looked quite tame compared to that film, but i do believe this to be the superior of the two. I am looking forward to seeing earlier films from Nagisa Oshima.


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