A mysterious stranger appears at the door of a farmhouse on a stormy night and asks for shelter. The young widow who owns the farm puts him up in the barn. At dawn, he helps to deliver a ...
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A mysterious stranger appears at the door of a farmhouse on a stormy night and asks for shelter. The young widow who owns the farm puts him up in the barn. At dawn, he helps to deliver a calf and, just as mysteriously and distantly, disappears down the road. In the spring, he returns to stay as a farmhand, gains the respect of the widow and the devotion of her young son, and begins to end their feelings of loneliness. When an intruder, in the person of a rich merchant, shows up and presses his attentions on the widow, the farmhand saves her from his attentions. But there is a mystery about where the stranger came from; and why, after winning the hearts of the widow and her son, he has to go away again.
This is my favorite of the films I've seen by director Yoji. Its a simple story, but its so well put together and the two leads, Ken Takakura and Chicko Baisho, both of whom have acted in Yoji films, give straightforward but heartfelt performances. Ms. Baisho's character is a widow with a young child running a farm in northern Japan. On a very rainy night Mr. Takskura's character appears, asking to spend the night. He stays on as a hired hand. The best thing is that there is not a cliché to be found in this film. As the hired hand came from parts unknown and does not appear to have anywhere to go, you wonder where he came from. You find out eventually, but I want you to see this film for the superb direction, story and acting. I really liked Mr. Yoji's "The Yellow Handkerchief" (which Mr. Takakura also gave a stellar performance), but I loved this film. Highly recommended.
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