Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki   1963   Japan When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs Image Cover
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Director:Mikio Naruse
Studio:Toho Company
Writer:Ryûzô Kikushima
IMDb Rating:8.2 (1,265 votes)
Duration:111 min
Mikio Naruse  ...  (Director)
Ryûzô Kikushima  ...  (Writer)
Hideko Takamine  ...  Keiko Yashiro
Masayuki Mori  ...  Nobuhiko Fujisaki
Reiko Dan  ...  Junko Inchihashi
Tatsuya Nakadai  ...  Kenichi Komatsu, the manager
Daisuke Katô  ...  Matsukichi Sekine
Ganjiro Nakamura  ...  Goda
Eitarô Ozawa  ...  Minobe
Keiko Awaji  ...  Yuri
Jun Tatara  ...  
Yû Fujiki  ...  
Masao Oda  ...  
Ken Mitsuda  ...  
Chikako Hosokawa  ...  
Sadako Sawamura  ...  
Masao Tamai  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: A very good looking film. It's entertaining, and wacky at the same time, watching Japanese adults be so polite and classy. There's an admirable strength to it I enjoy, but the film didn't strike me as terribly deep or adventurous. It's a great historical document, I suppose, but I think I'm no good at watching films "as if". On a superficial level I was disappointed by the 1950s american styled hairdos, although it's not surprising and is part of the film's substance.

Summary: This is the story of Mama, a.k.a. Keiko, a middle-aged geisha who must choose to either get married or buy a bar of her own. Her family hounds her for money, her customers for her attention, and she is continually in debt. The life of a geisha is examined as well as the way in which the system traps and sometimes kills those in it.

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