Willy Ferriere is dead broke and his mistress costs a lot. One day, he says in a pub that he would give 100,000 francs to get rid of his wealthy aunt. Someone lets him know it's a deal. The... See full summary »
A bad boy can win their hearts and drive them apart even in the 1930s and even in Japan and even to Christians and even when the two girls have made a vow to each other. The two schoolgirls make a promise that is easily melted away and ignored once the western-named bad boy Henry and his motorcycle come into the picture. Their lives diverge instead of holding steady and clinging to their promise.Written by
This story involves two girls, Dora and Sunako, who are best friends in Yokohama. They vow never to separate, but along enters a man (with the Western name Henry). Sunako goes for him, but he's a bad guy, a gangster and a philanderer. She eventually catches him with another woman, and does something rash. In her shame, Sunako runs away only to become a geisha. Later she meets up with Dora and Henry again, now married to each other and feeling guilty for what became of Sunako. Japanese Girls at the Harbor is often a very pretty film, but I sometimes found it to be poorly made. The first half is especially confusing with Shimizu's gimmicky editing. And the transition between the big event of the first half and the second half of the film is never quite clear. I had initially thought I was confused because I watched it tired, but I watched most of the first half over again and still found it hard to put together. Plus, whenever characters who aren't one of the main three enter the film, it's always hard to understand who they are. The second half of the film is much stronger than the first, but I would still complain that Henry and Dora are never especially interesting characters. My attention was focused entirely on Sunako, and I found it hard to concentrate when she wasn't around. This is the earliest film in the Eclipse Travels with Hiroshi Shimizu box set (and the only silent film), and I've read at least one review of the set that claims that it's the weakest. Looking at the better aspects of the film, it's clear that Shimizu is a talented director. I'm confident that the other films will be better. I definitely do not recommend starting with this film if you're just renting them. Skip it all together, or at least come back to it later.
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