Tag Archives: Ayako Wakao

Aozora Musume / The Blue Sky Maiden (1957) Yasuzô Masumura, Ayako Wakao, Keizô Kawasaki, Kenji Sugawara, Comedy, Drama

Aozora Musume aka The Blue Sky Maiden (1957)
Ayako Wakao plays good-natured Yuko, the illegitimate daughter of a well-off executive, raised in the country by relatives. Journeying to Tokyo she finds Father’s Western-style house to be a nest of vipers straight out of There’s Always Tomorrow, replete with Terrible Children, a housekeeper who sees all, and a dog named Cal with his own doghouse. But Yuko meets it all with aplomb; she’s interested in one thing only, finding her real, cast off mother.
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Diary of a Mad Old Man / Fûten Rôjin nikki (1962) Keigo Kimura, Sô Yamamura, Ayako Wakao, Keizô Kawasaki, Drama, Comedy

diary-of-a-mad-old-man-1962
Diary of a Mad Old Man is the journal of Utsugi, a seventy-seven-year-old man of refined tastes who is recovering from a stroke. He discovers that, while his body is decaying, his libido still rages on – unwittingly sparked by the gentle, kindly attentions of his daughter-in-law Satsuko, a chic, flashy dancer with a shady past.
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A Woman’s Testament / Jokyo (1960) Kon Ichikawa, Yasuzô Masumura, Ayako Wakao, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Jirô Tamiya, Drama, Romance

A Woman's Testament (1960)
The first story concerns an attractive young woman who works in a Tokyo nightclub. Her plan for a solid financial future has a double whammy. She is investing in a company on the one hand, and on the other, taking action to snare the son of the company’s owner in matrimonial bliss. In the second story, a beautiful young woman is employed by an unscrupulous real estate agent to convince male clients to invest in worthless property. A scrub in the tub usually does the trick. The last story is about a widowed geisha who has no real financial worries and when she falls in love with a forger, she opts to wait for him after he is sent to prison, rather than follow societal or family dictates.
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Echizen take-ningyo / Bamboo Doll of Echizen (1963) Kôzaburô Yoshimura, Ayako Wakao, Junichiro Yamashita, Tamao Nakamura, Drama, Romance

Echizen take-ningyo AKA Bamboo Doll of Echizen (1963)
Based on a novel by Tsutomu Mizukami, a celebrated writer whose fictions also furnished plots for directors from Tadashi Imai to Masahiro Shinoda, this haunting melodrama focuses on a young bamboo worker who takes his father’s prostitute as his wife. Though uncharacteristically cold for Yoshimura, the film makes stunning use of its stark black and white cinematography, and boasts an extraordinary lead performance from Ayako Wakao.
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Red Angel / Akai tenshi (1966) Yasuzô Masumura, Ayako Wakao, Shinsuke Ashida, Yûsuke Kawazu, Drama, Romance, War

Red Angel (1966)
In 1939, Sakura Nishi is a young army nurse who is sent to the field hospitals in China during the Sino-Japanese war. She has to assist the surgeon Dr. Okabe with an incredible number of amputations. In the crowded wards, she gives sympathy to some of the soldiers, including sexually servicing one who has lost both arms and has no hope of returning home. She falls in love with Dr. Okabe, and follows him to the front, even though he is impotent from his morphine addiction.
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Akasen Chitai / Street of Shame (1956) Kenji Mizoguchi, Machiko Kyô, Aiko Mimasu, Ayako Wakao, Drama

Akasen Chitai (1956)
Five prostitutes work at Dreamland, in Tokyo’s Yoshiwara district. As the Diet considers a ban on prostitution, the women’s daily dramas play out. Each has dreams and motivations. Hanae is married, her husband unemployed; they have a young child. Yumeko, a widow, uses her earnings to raise and support her son, who’s now old enough to work and care for her. The aging Yorie has a man who wants to marry her. Yasumi saves money diligently to pay her debt and get out; she also has a suitor who wants to marry her, but she has other plans for him. Mickey seems the most devil-may-care, until her father comes from Kobe to bring her news of her family and ask her to come home.
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