The Crucified Lovers (1954)

KENJI MIZOGUCHI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

Original title:  Chikamatsu Monogatari

Japan, 1954.  Screenplay by , adaptation by , based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 1955.  

The servant in a wealthy merchant’s household is asked by the owner’s wife to help her out of a financial bind that, when it is discovered, is mistaken for a secret love affair. The two wrongly accused individuals run away and end up falling in love thanks to their shared guilt. This tragic love story has a trajectory typical of classic Japanese romance and is not atypical of director Kenji Mizoguchi’s skill with subtlety and sensitive emotional expression. Its melodramatic story feels more like he is keeping up with his audience’s expectations between more artfully impressive films like Life of Oharu and Sansho The Bailiff, but really good acting elevates the plot above standard soap opera.

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