Setsuko Hara

  • Tadashi Imai – Bôrô no kesshitai AKA Suicide Troops of the Watchtower (1943)

    1941-1950ClassicsJapanTadashi ImaiWar

    Summary from IMDb:
    The story centres around a border security team in 1935 Korea. Upon receiving new recruits they hold a welcome party including a restaurant owner and his daughter. The border’s commander has a wife (Hara Setsuko) who helps deliver a neighbour’s baby. One day a border guard is killed by a Chinese bandit who is hiding in the area. The dead man’s sister comes to visit and is given help to further her studies. The film was shot in Korea featuring many Korean actors and crew.Read More »

  • Kiyoshi Saeki – Kita no san-nin AKA Three Women of the North (1945)

    1941-1950DramaJapanKiyoshi SaekiWar

    Japan’s Last World War Propaganda Film
    The last film produced under the national film policy before Japan’s capitulation in August 1945. “Kita no san-nin” stars an impressive cast of Japanese stars such as Setsuko Hara, Hideko Takamine, Susumu Fujita and Takashi Shimura in a last attempt to boost the public’s support for the war. The film is set at a little airport in the North of the country, where three young women are part of the military radiocommunication unit, supporting the local pilots and airport staff. Their joined effort and their private hardships bring these women together, such as the death of Yoshie’s brother who also used to be Sumiko’s fiancé. By showing the young woman’s efforts as pure and good, the film delivers its propaganda message: endure your hardships for the greater cause. Read More »

  • Keisuke Kinoshita – Ojôsan kanpai AKA Here’s to the Young Lady AKA Here’s to the Girls (1949)

    Keisuke Kinoshita1941-1950ComedyJapanRomance

    Sentimental egalitarianism in a love story that crosses class barriers. A lower-class entrepreneur on his way up is proposed a match wth a lovely girl of an aristocratic family. He soon learns her household is bankrupt and hoping he will bail them out, and he feels he has none of the refined culture this girl enjoys. But in the end the girl herself realizes she is really in love with this boorish but charmingly frank and devoted young man…Read More »

  • Yasuki Chiba – Tôkyô no koibito AKA Tokyo Sweetheart (1952)

    1951-1960ComedyDramaJapanYasuki Chiba

    Following the Second World War, the lives of various people in a poverty-stricken area of Tokyo are entertwined. Pachinko parlor girls, shoeshine boys, a maker of replica jewelry, and a streetcorner artist all struggle to make their livings and to find happiness in difficult surroundings.Read More »

  • Mikio Naruse – Yama no oto AKA Sound of the Mountain (1954)

    1951-1960DramaJapanMikio Naruse

    Sound of the Mountain is the story of the love between a daughter-in-law Kikuko (Setsuko Hara) and the father Shingo (So Yamamura) of her neglectful and selfish husband (Ken Uehara). Kikuko is locked into a loveless marriage. They live with his parents, and she is closest to her father in law. Kikuko doesn’t complain while her husband is having an affair. You want her to confront him, but she doesn’t. Kikuko finds out she is pregnant, doesn’t tell anyone and gets an abortion. As Shingo becomes more aware of Kikuko’s unhappiness, he takes ever more unconventional steps to rescue his son’s marriage.Read More »

  • Yasujirô Ozu – Kohayagawa-ke no aki AKA The End of Summer (1961)

    1961-1970DramaJapanYasujiro Ozu

    The Kohayakawa family is thrown into distress when childlike father Manbei takes up with his old mistress, in one of Ozu’s most deftly modulated blendings of comedy and tragedy.

    Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews” wrote:
    This Technicolor film is the deft blending of comedy and tragedy; it’s the penultimate film of arguably Japan’s best filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu (“Early Spring”/”Tokyo Story”/”Late Spring”). It’s co-scripted by the director and his regular screenwriter Kôgo Noda. It features the extended Kohayagawa family, who run a small sake brewery in post-war Japan and in failing times are thinking about merging their business with a larger company.Read More »

  • Yasujiro Ozu – Banshun aka Late Spring (1949)

    1941-1950AsianDramaJapanYasujiro Ozu


    Plot from allmovie by Hal Erickson

    Veteran Japanese writer/director Yasujiro Ozu’s second postwar production was 1949’s Late Spring or Banshun. Chisu Ryu plays another of Ozu’s realistic middle-class types, this time a widower with a marriageable daughter. Not wishing to see the girl resign herself to spinsterhood, Ryu pretends that he himself is about to be married. The game plan is to convince the daughter that they’ll be no room for her at home, thus forcing her to seek comfort and joy elsewhere. What makes this homey little domestic episode work is the rapport between Chisu Ryu and Setsuko Hara, who plays the daughter. Late Spring is no facile Hollywood farce; we like these people, believe in them, and wish them the best.Read More »

  • Yasujiro Ozu – Bakushû AKA Early Summer (1951)

    Drama1951-1960AsianJapanYasujiro Ozu

    An independent-minded 28-year old woman living in cosmopolitan, postwar Tokyo may seem immune from the societal pressures of marriage, but in Noriko’s (Setsuko Hara) environment, it is a perennially surfacing, unavoidable topic. Her father, Shukichi (Ichirô Sugai), and mother, Shige (Chieko Higashiyama), are unable to retire to her uncle’s house in the provincial town of Yamato until their duty to marry off Noriko to a worthy suitor has been fulfilled. Her visits with school friends invariably break down into playful arguments between the married and unmarried women. Even her office director offers to introduce her to a 40-year old business acquaintance, providing her photographs of the obscured prospective suitor to take home to show her family. Read More »

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