Koyama Kenji, nicknamed the Knife, is a smalltime hood assisted by his cronies Senko, Gunpei and girlfriend Chieko. One day, he spots the demure Yasue coming out of a jewelry shop and courts her. Meanwhile, Chieko tries to deliver Yasue into the clutches of their sleazebag boss Ono. Kenji rescues Yasue and goes straight. Chieko and Gunpei try to drag him back into the criminal world, and when he refuses, they turn him in to the police. When the officers come for Ken and Senko, Yasue promises to wait for them, so they take cheerful strides to go to prison. After serving their sentence, they return to the home to find Yasue, her mother and sisters waiting for them. —Ozu-san.com
Yasujiro Ozu was born in the old Fukagawa district of Tokyo, to a fertilizer merchant, in 1903. In 1923, after a couple of years as an assistant teacher in rural Japan, Ozu was hired as assistant cameraman at the Shochiku Motion Picture Company. Early in his career, Ozu began to experiment with an idiosyncratic film style that ran contrary to the conventions of Japanese or Hollywood cinema of the day. He strove to reduce and simplify his film style; he cast such mainstays as the fade, the dissolve, and the pan from his cinematic palette. He shot solely from a low camera angle, using a 50mm lens, and he subordinated spatial continuity to visual aesthetics. Ozu directed his first film in 1927,The Sword of Penitence. In 1932, he began to hit his creative stride with the touching comedy I Was Born, But…, which was his first commercial success. During World War II, he made few films such as There Was a Father.
After the war, Ozu reached his creative peak and made some of his finest… read more
This silent movie was co-written by fellow director Shimizu and has to be one of the most visually inventive of Ozu's early years. At this time he was heavily influenced by American movies and it shows clearly in this feature which has elements of crime, drama and romance. The story centres on a petty criminal who decides to go straight to win the love of a girl who won't have anything to do with him until he does...