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A Taxing Woman (1987)
"Marusa no onna" (original title)

 |  Comedy, Crime  |  June 1988 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,162 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 4 critic

Ryoko Itakura is a government tax agent who has just landed a big promotion. Her first assignment is to catch wheeler-dealer Hideki Gondo. She has a tough job, since in Japan tax evasion is... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nobuko Miyamoto ...
Tsutomu Yamazaki ...
Hideki Gondô
Masahiko Tsugawa ...
Hanamura
Yasuo Daichi ...
Ijûin
Kinzô Sakura ...
Kaneko
Hajime Asô ...
Himeda
Kiriko Shimizu ...
Kazue Kenmochi
Kazuyo Matsui ...
Kumi Torikai
Hideo Murota ...
Jûkichi Ishii
Machiko Watanabe ...
Kangofu
Shôtarô Takeuchi ...
Rihei Hakamada
Mitsuhiko Kiyohisa ...
Gondô no Untenshu
Akira Shioji ...
Fudôsan'ya
Kôichi Ueda ...
Ninagawa no Fukushin
Yûsuke Nagumo ...
Ninagawa no Kobun
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Storyline

Ryoko Itakura is a government tax agent who has just landed a big promotion. Her first assignment is to catch wheeler-dealer Hideki Gondo. She has a tough job, since in Japan tax evasion is an art and Gondo is, in effect, Rembrandt. Her job is complicated by a growing sympathy for the rogue and by political pressure to lay off. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He has a Yen for her, but he won't tell her where it's hidden... [USA Theatrical]

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Comedy | Crime

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Release Date:

June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Taxing Woman  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Hideki Gondo: To save money, you don't spend it. It's as simple as that. You give maybe $100 at a funeral, $200 at a wedding. That's not good. A million is nothing if you spend it. But even $100 is yours if you save it. Say you're trying to fill a glass with dripping water. When it's half-full, you're thirsty, so you drink. But that's stupid. Wait until it's full. But still don't drink. Wait 'til it brims over and lick it. That way you save the water and drink.
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Connections

Spin-off Marusa no onna (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sly, original comedy
1 July 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

She's rather memorable, this taxing woman. She has a face like a China doll all grown up with freckles around her eyes and a mat of thick dark hair on her head as though cut with the aid of a vegetable bowl. She is Nobuko Miyamoto, wife of the late and lamented director Juzo Itami, and a comedic star worthy of 'Saturday Night Live' in its better days. She plays Ryoke Hakura, tireless tax inspector hot on the trail of shady tax dodger Hideki Gondo, played with rakish self-indulgence by Tsutomi Yamazaki. Itami blends situation comedy with some soap opera angst (Japanese and American) to which he adds some ersatz action/adventure shtick (the chase scene near the end with Hakura legging it after Gondo's teenage son, comes to mind) seasoned with a touch of the traditional theater and a little zesty porn, well mixed.

The result is interesting and a little jarring.

I was most affected by the atmosphere of this strange and original comedy. I found myself looking at the backdrops and the sets and into the faces of all those very neat Japanese bureaucrats as I followed Ryoko Hakura's tireless pursuit of the missing yen. All that paper work and all those numbers! Interesting were the attitudes and presumptions of the characters in terms of sexuality and social status. We can see that in the modern Japan a woman must navigate her way carefully through the sea of men, while a man must achieve financial success to command respect. And yet there lingers still the flavor and the swagger of the samurai as seen in the scene where Gondo cuts his finger to write a bank account number in blood.

Aside from getting a little soapy at the end, this is fine flick, sly and amusing.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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