10 user 19 critic

Etsuraku (1965)

After Atsushi commits murder, he is blackmailed into keeping a suitcase full of embezzled money. What follows is a descent into lustful, reckless actions and regret.


Nagisa Ôshima


Fûtarô Yamada (novel), Nagisa Ôshima (screenplay)

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Credited cast:
Katsuo Nakamura ... Atsushi Wakizaka
Mariko Kaga ... Shoko
Yumiko Nogawa Yumiko Nogawa ... Hitomi
Masako Yagi Masako Yagi ... Shizuko
Toshiko Higuchi Toshiko Higuchi ... Mari
Hiroko Shimizu Hiroko Shimizu ... Keiko
Shôichi Ozawa Shôichi Ozawa ... Hayami
Kei Satô Kei Satô ... Police inspector
Rokkô Toura Rokkô Toura ... Sakurai
Fumio Watanabe Fumio Watanabe ... Hanawa gang member
Hôsei Komatsu Hôsei Komatsu ... Egi
Akiji Kobayashi ... Mari's pimp
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tôru Emori Tôru Emori


After Atsushi commits murder, he is blackmailed into keeping a suitcase full of embezzled money. What follows is a descent into lustful, reckless actions and regret.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama







Release Date:

December 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pleasures of the Flesh See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sozosha See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Etsuraku Blues
Performed by Kazuhiko Shima
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User Reviews

The downfall of a man
3 April 2009 | by GrandeMargueriteSee all my reviews

What looks first like a thriller (after the murder of a man who raped one of his students, a young teacher finds himself blackmailed into hiding a huge some of money) turns into an exploration of greed and sexual exploitation by one of the less politically correct Japanese directors, Nagisa Oshima, as the hero succumbs to his baser impulses and decides to spend the money on indulging his every (often sensual) impulse - planning to commit suicide when the cash runs out. "Pleasures of the Flesh" sees Oshima first embrace of the themes of sexuality, sadism and obsession that characterize his later works. I see "Pleasures of the Flesh" as the turning point in Oshima's career, a cross between his early films, like "The Sun's Burial" or "A Cruel Story of Youth" with young criminals who exploit each other for money and enact transgressive fantasies, or "Night and Fog in Japan" with its political plot, and later films, like the famous "Realm of the Senses", and their sadomasochist tales of sex and death. Oshima is obviously already at work pushing the limits of what can be shown on screen and what can be said on the power of sex and money, on the perversion of love and capitalism. It is one of the most pessimistic works from the director. Everything is corrupt : the young girl the hero falls for (and kills for) proves to be not so innocent in the end, sex (which is a way to humiliate people), love (which only leads to frustration and guilt), money (a delusion), society (dominating and repressive). As "Pleasures of the Flesh" seems to embody most of Oshima's favorite themes, I would recommend it, but don't expect a "likeable" film with "likeable" characters. But after all, this is all too typical of Oshima's manner ! Has he ever filmed romantic stories and sweet people ?

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