Tag Archives: Isuzu Yamada

Banba no Chûtarô / Chutaro of Banba (1955) Nobuo Nakagawa, Tomisaburô Wakayama, Isuzu Yamada, Sanae Mitsuoka, Drama

Chutaro of Banba (1955)
Based on the play ”Mabuta no Haha” by famed author Hasegawa Shin, this is the first major starring role for Wakayama Tomisaburo. This heartfelt story concerns a wandering gambler from Banba by the name of Chutaro. Set during the Tenpo Period, Chutaro runs afoul of Boss Sukegoro of Iioka, prior to the great showdown that formed the centerpiece of the first Zato Ichi film. Pursued by vengeance seeking swordsmen, Chutaro displays his phenomenal martial art skills, much as a preview of his internationally famous Baby Cart series. Abandoned as a child, he seeks to find his long lost mother, while at the same time fighting off numerous attacks by Iioka’s men.
Read More »

Maria no Oyuki / Oyuki, the Virgin (1935) Kenji Mizoguchi

Maria no Oyuki (1935)
Oyuki, the Virgin is based on Kawaguchi Matsutaro’s adaptation of Maupassant’s “Boule de Suif” (“Lump of Fat,” also the inspiration for Ford’s Stagecoach). To this story Mizoguchi added some of his own elements. Maupassant’s original work, set during the Franco-Prussian War, is the story of a group of people who try to flee the battleground in a horsedrawn carriage. The bourgeois use the expression “lump of fat” to refer sarcastically to the prostitute who is riding along with them. When they are caught by the enemy, they offer to send her to the commander as a human sacrifice. This done, when they leave the battlefield the next day, all they do is censure her and call her vulgar.
Read More »