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A Wife Confesses (1961)

Tsuma wa kokuhaku suru (original title)
Ayako is charged with murdering her much older academic husband while climbing a mountain. Ayako was having an affair, apparently with her husband's approval, and this complicates the trial.

Director:

Yasuzô Masumura

Writers:

Masato Ide, Masaya Maruyama (novel)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ayako Wakao ... Ayako Takigawa
Hiroshi Kawaguchi Hiroshi Kawaguchi ... Osamu Kôda
Eitarô Ozawa Eitarô Ozawa ... Ryôkichi Takigawa
Haruko Mabuchi Haruko Mabuchi ... Rie Munakata
Jun Negami Jun Negami ... Lawyer Sugiyama
Hideo Takamatsu Hideo Takamatsu ... Public Prosecutor Kasai
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ichirô Aminaka Ichirô Aminaka
Tomio Hanano Tomio Hanano
Gai Harada Gai Harada
Chikara Hashimoto Chikara Hashimoto
Tôru Konoki Tôru Konoki
Kazuo Mori Kazuo Mori
Yûji Moriya Yûji Moriya
Fumiko Murata Fumiko Murata
Takashi Nakamura Takashi Nakamura
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Storyline

Ayako is charged with murdering her much older academic husband while climbing a mountain. Ayako was having an affair, apparently with her husband's approval, and this complicates the trial.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

29 October 1961 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

A Wife Confesses See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A Wife Confesses (1961)
3 July 2015 | by mevmijaumauSee all my reviews

A Wife Confesses is a 1961 crime/courtroom drama film based on Masaya Maruyama's novel, directed by Yasuzo Masumura, a prominent New Wave director who was interested in portraying the lives and needs of individual citizens as opposed to focusing on the Japanese society in general. This movie remains one of his more famous works, and certainly one of his most serious ones, as his career spans from sleazy violence to yakuza and pinku films.

Ayako Wakao, one of the best Japanese actresses of that period, stars as a wife accused of murdering her husband during a mountain climbing trip. She broke the taboo of cutting the rope while both of them were hanging from the stone and the fact that her other lover was present complicates things further. The film poses the question of whether or not following your own survival instincts on the behalf of someone else's life is acceptable or not. This is a very morally ambiguous film and it doesn't judge any of the characters (except for the husband, who's a royal d*ck), so the viewer's input is pretty much obligatory. I guess you can also read it as an early feminist film.

The narrative is interrupted by sudden flashbacks and scenes from outside the courtroom, while the visuals are inspired half by American courtroom dramas, half by film noir aesthetics, with characteristic Japanese framing thrown in for good measure. I like how during the courtroom scenes, Ayako and the witnesses are closely surrounded by other characters in the foreground of the frame, while the rest of the film frames her usually isolated, on the screen's corners. I also like the visual analogy of the doomed marriage shown as the couple hanging from the same rope. That being said, the movie has a very slow pace and it threw me off a bit because of that, and I also didn't care much for some scenes. It's a good movie, but I expected something more, I guess.


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