The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
On his deathbed, a wealthy businessman announces that his fortune is to be split equally among his three illegitimate children, whose whereabouts are unknown to his family and colleagues. A... See full summary »
Everyone knows Kaneto Shindo from his horror classics 'Kuroneko' and 'Onibaba' and although they're both undoubtedly great films, I've been more impressed by his lesser-known works, like 'Wolf' and 'Human' and now, 'A Scoundrel,' which could be the greatest of the lot. Set in the war-torn 14th century, the film concerns the governor of a province whose chamberlain (the phenomenal Nobuko Otowa, Shindo's wife) tells him of a woman she knew in the Royal court whose beauty could tear a nation apart. The foreshadowing is not so subtle. 'A Scoundrel' was co-written by Shindo and Japan's beloved Junichiro Tanizaki (an author who has not impressed me much, although I've only read very little), and is at once humorous, suspenseful, gruesome, and absolutely fascinating.
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