Sudo (Hara Yasumi) and Mori (Uno Jukichi) are two university students who make money by picking up rich girls in dance clubs and conning them into giving them cash. Mori is the brains of the operation, and Sudo is the suave dancer who picks up the girls. Over the course of the film, Sudo becomes involved with three different girls and is drawn into the gangster milieu, which he seems unable to resist even though he is responsible for his mother, grandmother, and sister, Masako (Wakayama Setsuko). In this world of bad boys and girls, Masako is the pillar of strength and moral virtue who finally enables Mori to straighten out. —Catherine Russell
Mikio Naruse is one of the least known of Japan’s early master directors, both in the West and in Japan, yet he created some of the most moving, darkly beautiful works in Japanese cinema. Like Kenji Mizoguchi, Naruse showed an uncanny understanding for the psychology of women. Like Yasujiro Ozu, he preferred subtle shifts of character over broad strokes of plot. Unlike either of these early greats, however, Naruse’s vision of humanity was much darker and more clinical. He stripped all vestiges of hope or acceptance from his films, what remains is only a willful struggle to endure. His relentlessly negative view of human existence has resulted in Naruse’s often being labeled a nihilist.
Born in Tokyo, in 1905, Naruse was the youngest of three sons of a desperately poor embroiderer. Although he excelled in elementary school, his family could not afford to further his education. He was instead enrolled in a two-year technical school. There, he spent virtually all of his free time… read more
A serene touching tale of two students who fleece money from lonely rich dance hall girls looking for love almost resembles a happy American comedy with its western venues and two main characters who find themselves increasingly in bewildering emotional situations: one lies to his increasingly disturbed family and pursues a life of crime while the other turns and achieves redemption from his friend's sister.