7.9/10
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17 user 29 critic

Ukikusa monogatari (1934)

Not Rated | | Drama | January 1994 (USA)
A kabuki actor's mistress hatches a jealous plot to bring down her lover's son.

Director:

Yasujirô Ozu

Writers:

Tadao Ikeda, Yasujirô Ozu (story) (as James Maki)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Takeshi Sakamoto ... Kihachi
Chôko Iida ... Otsune, Ka-yan
Kôji Mitsui ... Shinkichi (as Hideo Mitsui)
Rieko Yagumo Rieko Yagumo ... Otaka
Yoshiko Tsubouchi ... Otoki
Tomio Aoki Tomio Aoki ... Tomi-boh
Reikô Tani Reikô Tani ... Tomibo's father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kiyoshi Aono Kiyoshi Aono ... Sword trainer
Mariko Aoyama Mariko Aoyama ... Barber's landlady
Mitsumura Ikebe Mitsumura Ikebe ... Villager
Seiji Nishimura Seiji Nishimura ... Kichi, an actor
Mitsuru Wakamiya Mitsuru Wakamiya ... Station attendant
Emiko Yagumo Emiko Yagumo
Nagamasa Yamada Nagamasa Yamada ... Maako, an actor
Munenobu Yui Munenobu Yui
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Storyline

A troupe of actors comes to town, short on funds and bedeviled by bad weather, so they can't put on shows. Kihachi is the troupe's leader. He steals off every day to visit Otsune (an ex-lover) and their son, Shinkichi, who believes his father is a long-dead civil servant. Kihachi has been paying Shinkichi's tuition, and he's now at university. Kihachi's lover, Otaka, the troupe's lead actress, learns Kihachi's secret and plots to ruin Shinkichi and humiliate Kihachi: she offers money to Otoki, the troupe's ingénue, to seduce Shinkichi. Soon the boy is head over heels, and Otoki finds herself with feelings for him. Can this end well or is tragedy at hand? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

January 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Story of Floating Weeds See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Kihachi: Where are you going?
Otaka: Kamisuwa.
Kihachi: And you?
Otaka: No place in particular.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film title and credits are placed before a backdrop of plain sackcloth. This would become a trademark of Yasujirô Ozu films. See more »

Connections

Remade as Floating Weeds (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
an early masterpiece from Ozu
25 July 2004 | by paybaragonSee all my reviews

This film is full of the sensitive observation, the slow-building tragic emotion and the moral ambiguity of Ozu's later works. While eschewing the cheap tragedy that was already so fashionable in Japanese melodrama (you can imagine the story going in that direction for any other director), the ending leaves the viewer uncertain and unsettled, with only the vaguest hopes for all concerned.

Apart from the depiction of a rundown and pathetic acting troupe (it reminds me of Alan Mowbray's drunken Shakespearian actor in 'My Darling Clementine'), and the rural small-town atmosphere, what lingers on in the mind is the portrait of an extremely flawed man. Like the great male characters of American cinema, Ichikawa is decent but ruled by anger, regret, and a certain way of life. will Ichikawa ever really be able to change, or do justice to those he feels responsible for? But after all, actors will be actors...

In fact, if this film is to be criticized for anything, it should be done so for its lack of a really detailed look into the lives and profession of the actors. After all, Ichikawa's profession turns out to play such an important part, in the end, in the fate of his 'family'.

Ozu's direction of women (particularly Ichikawa's wronged, but vengeful, lover) is sensitive and truthful, while his his direction of children is, as always, well-observed and hilarious.


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