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Giants and Toys (1958)

Kyojin to gangu (original title)
In the middle of a fierce commercial competition between three caramel companies, an executive builds up a ditsy teenage girl as a mascot while simultaneously trying to uncover the rival companies' plans.

Director:

Yasuzô Masumura

Writers:

Takeshi Kaikô (novel), Yoshio Shirasaka
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Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Hiroshi Kawaguchi Hiroshi Kawaguchi ... Yôsuke Nishi
Hitomi Nozoe Hitomi Nozoe ... Kyôko Shima
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Osamu Abe Osamu Abe ... Wrestler
Kôichi Fujiyama Kôichi Fujiyama ... Tadao Yokoyama
Yoshihiro Hamaguchi Yoshihiro Hamaguchi ... Driver C
Tatsuo Hanabu Tatsuo Hanabu ... Fuyuzaki
Fujio Harumoto Fujio Harumoto ... Shimomura
Hisako Horigome Hisako Horigome ... Miyuki Fujimoto
Hikaru Hoshi Hikaru Hoshi ... Kurosawa
Kôichi Itô Kôichi Itô ... Haruoka
Naoyasu Itô Naoyasu Itô ... Nakazaki
Yûnosuke Itô Yûnosuke Itô ... Junji Harukawa
Shôji Kawashima Shôji Kawashima ... Eigineer
Hiroko Machida Hiroko Machida ... Suzue, Gôda's wife
Sachiko Meguro Sachiko Meguro ... Iwafuji
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Storyline

As much a film of its moment as Sweet Smell of Success and just as lasting in its pertinence, this cruel satire is Masumura's masterpiece - although an excellent script (from a Ken Kaiko novel) and terrific cast deserve their share of the credit. Three confectionery companies are locked in cut-throat rivalry for a share of a market increasingly dominated by imported US candy. Goda (Takamatsu), a thrusting young exec with World Caramel, spots a young woman out shopping and decides to turn her into a celebrity who can star in his plan for a space age ad campaign. Kyoko Shima (Nozoe), averagely pretty and with exceptionally bad teeth, takes to the Pygmalion treatment like a duck to water and soon leaves behind her job with a failing taxi firm and her dysfunctional family. Goda's assistant Nishi (Kawaguchi), who dates a woman exec from a rival firm and proves a useless industrial spy, watches as both the girl and his boss succumb to mega-greed; the film's ending turns on whether or not ... Written by nishanth gunupudi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

22 June 1958 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Giants and Toys See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
More than Giants & Toys
20 June 2010 | by Comics230See all my reviews

Giants & Toys - One the main reasons I watched Giants & Toys was for the simple theme of the 1950's space craze. I love that era and 1950's Science Fiction. And I wasn't disappointed, I loved to see all the toys used as props in the movie, more than once stopping to get better look at them. What that stuff would be worth on eBay! It seems frivolous, but it did get me to watch the movie.

Giants & Toys is biting commentary on then contemporary 1950's Japanese life. It shows a society where corporations have taken over the Samuri Class role. Life belongs to your company. In the end, even beating down the most idealistic employee. From all I've read about Japanese corporate culture, this is what it is like.

More than just commentary on Japanese life, Yasuzo Masumura (director), Takeshi Kaikô (novel) and Yoshio Shirasaka (writer) are prophetic in the assessment of pop culture and media even in today's society. About thirty minutes into the movie there a line about "stars getting their 15 minutes of fame." Now that line may have not been a literal translation from the Japanese, but even so. Worhol's comment on fleeting fame wasn't made until 1968, ten years after Giants & Toys. I would love to find out what actually was said in that scene (anybody care to translate). I also wonder if this movie was an inspiration to Worhol.

I definitely put this into a must watch category. I look forward to checking out more Masumura films.


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