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Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Kanashimi no beradonna (original title)
Unrated | | Animation, Drama, Fantasy | 12 July 2016 (USA)
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1:32 | Trailer
An evil feudal lord rapes a village girl on her wedding night and proceeds to ruin her and her husband's lives. After she's eventually banished from her village, the girl makes a pact with the devil to gain magical ability and take revenge.

Director:

Eiichi Yamamoto
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Devil
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Katsuyuki Itô Katsuyuki Itô ... Jean (as Katsutaka Ito)
Aiko Nagayama Aiko Nagayama ... Jeanne / Belladonna
Shigako Shimegi Shigako Shimegi ... The Lord's Mistress
Masaya Takahashi Masaya Takahashi ... The Lord
Natsuka Yashiro Natsuka Yashiro ... The Witch
Masakane Yonekura Masakane Yonekura ... The Priest
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Storyline

Blessed--and at the same time cursed--with the precious but fatal gift of beauty, the young peasant, Jeanne, falls in love with the beautiful villager, Jean, in late-1800s France. However, as the village's foul feudal lord exercises the "Droit du Seigneur" or the "Right of the First Night" on the couple's wedding night, a desperate plunge to a world of disturbing hallucinations will eventually lead Jeanne to a damned Faustian bargain with the Prince of Darkness. Thirsting for power and sweet retribution, Jeanne will gradually transform into an omnipotent and destructive vessel of seduction, as her newly acquired powers go hand in hand with the blackest of witchcraft. Is there a limit to Jeanne's hatred? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

12 July 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Belladonna of Sadness See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$105,841
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although it was released theatrically in Japan and Europe in the 1970s, and had a Japanese home video release in 2004, the 2015 restoration by Cinelicous is the first time the film has had an official release in the United States. See more »

Quotes

Jeanne: Your Ladyship, have pity!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no ending credits or a 'THE END' title; all the credits are at the beginning. The opening theme is reprized over a blank screen after the final scene. The 2015 restoration adds a copyright byline and credits for the restoration. See more »

Alternate Versions

"According to the DVD pamphlet, there has been at least five versions of Belladonna of Sadness. The first was a draft version hastily filled with temporary placeholder shots in order to meet a deadline. It has never been shown in public. The second version included [live-action footage] by Daido Moriyama...showing sex and nudity. Apparently Moriyama took...footage of men and women engaging in the sex act in parks and red-light districts. [This] footage [was] meant to be shown during two interval breaks (in the first half after Jeanne's contract with the devil and in the second half after the coming of spring). Although these had been shown in some early theatre viewings, they were ultimately omitted in the later versions in order to maintain the film's unity of artistic style. The second version also ended with the devil laughing in the crowd after Jeanne's execution. This ending was poorly received at the Berlin Film Festival, and was omitted altogether in some later versions. The third version was one edited for theatre screenings. This version omitted Moriyama's live-action footage[] and ended with the devil's laughter. The fourth version was one edited for the revival of this film in 1979. Because the creators were concerned about female college students among their audiences, they omitted the aggressively sexual scenes. At the same time, they also added the scene towards the end where the "face of Jeanne" is reincarnated in a crowd of female by-standers who saw her execution, and the final scene where the Old Regime is toppled by revolutionaries during the French Revolution. The fifth version is the LD disc video version. They restored the sexual scenes omitted in the fourth version. See more »

Soundtracks

Belladonna of Sadness
Music by Asei Kobayashi; Arrangement by Makoto Kawaguchi
Lyrics by Yû Aku
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Belladonna of Sadness was the product of an animation studio that knew it was doomed.
18 February 2008 | by iuasdhfu9See all my reviews

"It becomes apparent early on when viewing Belladonna of Sadness that this film is quite unique. Certainly the first, and possibly the only animated film that might be classified in the pinku genre. But even though the film is supposedly animated, nothing seems to be moving at first. You instead see a series of elegantly designed still drawings depicting a harmonious wedding between a peasant couple in 14th century France, as a woman sings her narration in the soulful style of a 70s rock opera. This is the film's only joyous scene, as moments later the new groom is pleading with the local land baron to reduce the marriage tax he can't afford. The baron instead decides to exercise his "droit de seigneur" with the bride. It is here, several minutes into the film, that full animation is finally used, in order to depict the rape of the virgin bride with metaphorical imagery much more disturbing than what a literal depiction of the same events could provide. A sign of things to come, as this is only the first in a series of tragic events that push this woman, through desperation, into the world of witchcraft." ...


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