7.5/10
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16 user 10 critic

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.

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Cast

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

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

22 June 1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Giants and Toys  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Could have been made yesterday
16 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

The themes of people working themselves to death in a desperate struggle for "success" is as relevant today as it was over 40 years ago. And the analysis of popular culture in US/Japan seems right on.

The young protagonists' choice between personal integrity and loyalty to the mainstream society continues to face us every day.


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