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Flower and Snake (1974)

Hana to hebi (original title)
The elderly Senzô Tôyama (Nagatoshi Sakamoto) orders his employee, Makoto Katagiri (Yasunori Ishizu), to kidnap and train his wife Shizuko (Naomi Tani) in order to break her pride so that she will submit to his desires.

Director:

Masaru Konuma

Writers:

Oniroku Dan (novel), Yôzô Tanaka
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Cast

Credited cast:
Naomi Tani Naomi Tani ... Shizuko Tôyama
Nagatoshi Sakamoto Nagatoshi Sakamoto ... Senzô Tôyama
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hijiri Abe Hijiri Abe ... Haru
Willy Dozy Willy Dozy
Hiroko Fuji Hiroko Fuji ... Miyo Katagiri
Yasuhiko Ishizu Yasuhiko Ishizu ... Makoto Katagiri
Hiroyuki Mikawa Hiroyuki Mikawa
Toshihiko Oda Toshihiko Oda
Haruhiko Sugawara Haruhiko Sugawara
Akira Takahashi Akira Takahashi
Kôji Yashiro Kôji Yashiro
Setsuko Ôyama Setsuko Ôyama
Edit

Storyline

The elderly Senzô Tôyama (Nagatoshi Sakamoto) orders his employee, Makoto Katagiri (Yasunori Ishizu), to kidnap and train his wife Shizuko (Naomi Tani) in order to break her pride so that she will submit to his desires.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Zootrope Films [France]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

22 June 1974 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Flower & Snake '74 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nikkatsu See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Hana to hebi: Hakui nawa dorei (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Preston Sturges Does Story Of O
26 May 2008 | by rabrennerSee all my reviews

I first saw FLOWER AND SERPENT in the eighties at the Thalia. It was part of a wonderful film series on Japanese B-movies—movies regular Japanese folks see, not artsy Kurosawa flicks. Several audience members walked out in disgust within the first few minutes, but I stayed, fascinated. It was the first—and still only—Japanese bondage comedy I had ever seen.

A young, sexually impotent salaryman lives at home with his dominating—literally— mother. She produces "kinbaku" (bondage) movies in the basement to make ends meet. When the salaryman's boss discovers stills from the mother's work in the salaryman's desk, the boss mistakenly assumes the salaryman is a "nawashi" (bondage master) and orders him to kidnap and train the boss's sexually unresponsive wife. Complications ensue when the wife and salaryman fall in love with each other.

This movie is frankly not for everyone. It depends on how comfortable you are, for example, with a running subplot involving enemas. Can screwball romantic comedy and hardcore bondage scenes peacefully coexist? Imagine THE STORY OF O as written/directed by Preston Sturges and you'll have some idea. (The closest modern, Western equivalent is SECRETARY.) I recently stumbled across a DVD of FLOWER AND SERPENT at Kim's under the title FLOWER AND SERPENT '74. Apparently, the movie has been remade several times, and there have been numerous sequels. It was every bit as bizarre as I remembered it. If you want to see a truly unusual movie, and get some insight into the dark underbelly of Japanese culture, this is a good place to start.


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