Scandal' DVD, Akira Kurosawa (1950), New & Sealed
I've seen dozens of films by Akira Kurosawa. Of course, I hunted down the films that have made him famous first - films like Sanjuro, Yojimbo, and the Seven Samurai. After viewing those masterpieces I moved on to his catalog of lesser-known (and much more difficult to find!) films such as this one, Shubun (Scandal).
While watching this movie I was continually amazed at how well this movie kept my interest. I firmly believe it could be presented to an audience of disinterested types and they would be quickly pulled in. It is quickly paced, competently directed, and the acting is great. Some of the early Kurosawa flicks become quite dull in spots (Ikiru), a flaw this film does not suffer from.
Toshiro Mifune (playing Ichiro Aoye), young and impossibly handsome, does not manage to steal the show in this film, as he does with nearly all of his Kurosawa rolls. In fact, Takashi Shimura gets all the juicy bits and only furthers my belief that he is among Japan's greatest screen actors.
The plot goes all over the map, taking us from lighthearted moments to some excruciatingly tragic affairs. These are not terms I throw around without hesitation...you WILL be moved.
The icing on the cake: a vile villian, one of the nastiest characters you'll ever see in a Kurosawa film and the strikingly beautiful Shirley Yamaguchi who plays the pop singer, Mikako Saijo (with whom Mifune's Aoye is caught in a tabloid scandal with).
This film has recently been released on video with new subtitles and it most certainly worth hunting down.
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Toshir˘ Mifune .... Ichir˘ Aoye
Shirley Yamaguchi .... Miyako Saijo (as Yoshiko Yamaguchi)
Y˘ko Katsuragi .... Masako Hiruta
Noriko Sengoku .... Sumie
Eitar˘ Ozawa .... Hori
Takashi Shimura .... Attorney Hiruta
Shinichi Himori .... Editor Asai
Koji Mi .... Cameraman A
Ichir˘ Shimizu .... Arai
Fumiko Okamura .... Miyako's mother
Masao Shimizu .... Judge
Tanie Kitabayashi .... Yasu Hiruta
Sugisaku Aoyama .... Dr. Kataoka
Kokuten Kodo .... Old Man A
Kichijiro Ueda .... Old Man B
Coding: All Region Code / NTSC Format
Video: 4:3 Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital / AC 3 / 5.1 Surround Sound
Subtitles: English / Chinese (Removable)