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Priest of Darkness (1936)
"Kôchiyama Sôshun" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  30 April 1936 (Japan)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 187 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 4 critic

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(Kabuki drama), , 1 more credit »
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Title: Priest of Darkness (1936)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Chôjûrô Kawarasaki ...
Kochiyama Soshun
Kan'emon Nakamura ...
Kaneko Ichinojo
Shizue Yamagishi ...
Oshizu
...
Onami
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chôemon Bandô
Jôji Ichikawa
Rakutarô Ichikawa
Sensho Ichikawa ...
Naozamurai
Shoji Ichikawa
Shotaro Ichikawa
Heikuro Imanari
Atsuko Iryû
Daisuke Katô ...
Kenta
Sôji Kiyokawa
Fumie Miyoshi ...
Aya-chan
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Drama

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Release Date:

30 April 1936 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Priest of Darkness  »

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1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Kabuki Adaptation And Film Perfection
22 August 2005 | by (GSO, USA) – See all my reviews

Based on a well-known Kabuki drama titled "Kochiyama to Naozamurai", which Yamanaka distills into a masterpiece of jidaigeki (period film) as shomingeki (everyman drama), blending the two into something he apparently had rights to entirely in Japan during the 30s. Through a series of intrigues, Kochiyama, Naojiro (who becomes Hirotaro for the film), Ichinijo, and Hirotaro's sister Onami (played by a young Hara Setsuko) all pretty much have the worst day or two of their lives. This thoroughly pessimistic film isn't much of a surprise considering 1937's Humanity and Paper Balloons (a paper balloon, by the way, being played with by a child provides one of the most memorable scenes in this film, or any film, about half way through) but Million Ryo Pot (1935) seems impossibly optimistic in comparison, you'd almost think they were made by different directors (except for the perfection of course.) McDonald (who I've been reading a lot of lately, not on purpose, it just seems my interests are lining up with hers) surmises that the last two films are a response to the rise of fascism (especially the ni-ni rokyu incident) in Japan, and I can't imagine a better reason.

If you have a chance to see this film, or any of Yamanaka's work, do so. They're enjoyable and stick in the back of your head forever. Unfortunately only three of his films survive, but I would rate them as some of my favorites. Ten stars and very highly recommended to everyone.

Steven


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