A Noh dramatization of the suicides of Lt. Shinji Takeyama and his wife Reiko. After participating in a failed 1936 coup and being ordered to execute his friends, he bids his wife an intimate farewell and commits harakiri.
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.
Japanese sixties comedy featuring a cunning female jewel thief named Black Lizard who tries to kidnap Sanaye, a wealthy jeweler's beautiful daughter as part of a plot to steal the jeweler's... See full summary »
Yuko is sent to the coastal regions to be raised away from the rest of her sophisticated family where she finds out from her ill grandmother that she is actually the love child of her wealthy businessman father and his ex-secretary.
Afraid to Die, one of the four Yasuzo Masumura films that Fantoma has recently released on DVD, contains several examples of the directorial mastery of the same man who directed Giants and Toys and Bind Beast - in fact, the entire film is skillfully directed - but the script is terribly dull. Also working against the film is Yukio Mishima. He was the original draw for the film. He was a famous novelist at the time, probably the most famous in Japan, and his fans desperately wanted to see him in a film. Unfortunately, he's not a very good actor. I guess his poor performance is just as well blamed on the script, though. His character fluctuates a lot. We're supposed to like him, or at least sympathize with him, but that's not really possible. He's a pure scumbag. Afraid to Die is worth watching. It's not very long, and, like I said above, there are a couple of great scenes. One particular death scene is alone worth the price of a rental, if you're lucky enough to find it on your local video shelf. If you're thinking about buying any of Fantoma's Masumura DVDs, this one's not really worth it. Definitely buy Giants and Toys and Blind Beast. I haven't yet seen Manji. I did order it, though, so by the time you read this I could have already posted a review. Check it out. For Afraid to Die: 7/10.
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