Japanese Movie Listing - W

The letter W is an intriguing one, and especially with the word "woman" beginning with W you'd think there would be a few great movies in this section of the list. However, none of these really call to me. Are there favorite Japanese movies of yours that begin with the letter W?
Walk, Don't Run (1966 - US).
Cary Grant, Samantha Eggers. Very light romantic comedy, complete fluffery, but it was set in Tokyo and had some wonderful shots of Japanese street life and the Olympics. [A remake, by the way, of a comedy set in Washington, DC in wartime: The More the Merrier (1943), with Joel McCrea, Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn.]

The War Between Us (1995)
A TV movie focussing on the internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII. Shannon Lawson, Mieko Ouchi, Robert Wisden, Ian Tracey, Juno Ruddell, Edmond Kato, Robert Ito.

War of the Gargantuas (Japan/US: 1966) 93m.
Title creatures terrorize Tokyo and "Dr. Paul Stewart" (Russ Tamblyn). D: Inoshiro Honda.

When a Woman Loves (1959) 97m.
Utilizing flashbacks, film recalls love affair between a woman and an older man, a war correspondent. Sentimental. D: Heinosuke Gosho.

White Heaven in Hell (1973) D: Kenji Misumi
Final movie in the Baby Cart series featuring samurai Ogami Itto and his little son. Ogami and his arch enemy Yagyu Retsudo have their final showdown, and it's not pretty. Baby Cart Series Info

White Phantom (1987)
A wandering American ninja is drawn into a showdown with the Sakura ninja after his dancer girlfriend, who has secretly been working undecover for an American colonel, is murdered. Sort-of-sequel to "Sakura Killers". Jay Roberts Jr., Bo Svenson

Why not? (1980) (Ee ja Nai ka) D: Imamura Shohei.
On the eve of the Meiji restoration, a young sailor who has lived in the US returns to Japan and finds his country in turmoil. He becomes involved with a group of lower class revolutionaries.

Willy McBean and his Magic Machine (1965) 94m.
Puppet novelty about mad professor and his time machine. OK for kids. D: Arthur Ranken, Jr.

Witches (1963) (Onibaba) D: Shindo Kaneta.
Shindo's blend of demons, sexuality and death makes for chilling viewing. Two women living in a wilderness of reeds prey on unfortunate samurai who wander into their domain. David Desser quotes Shindo: "They are people totally abandoned, outside society's political protection. I wanted to capture their immense energy for survival." As might be expected, the dialect is rough.

Woman in the Dunes (1964) 123m.
Male amateur entomologist, Niki Jumpei, is imprisoned in the sand pit by a group of villagers. They lower him into the pit where a woman ("the woman in the dunes", Kyoko Kishida) lives in a house in the pit. Moving, memorable allegory, with striking direction by Hiroshi Teshigara and cinematography by Hiroshi Segawa. From the story by Abe Kobo (Suma No Ona). [susan.ferrandiz@sru.edu]

Women of the Night (1948) (Yoru no onnatachi)
A harrowing, harshly realistic portrait of prostitution during the postwar Occupation, Mizoguchi's Women of the Night is said to have instrumental in the passage of Japan's anti-prostitution law. Kinuyo Tanaka gives a virtuosa performance as Fusako, a young Osaka women obliged by financial circumstances to become the mistress of a narcotics smuggler. When her black-marketeer boyfriend begins sleeping with her younger sister, the distraught and desperate Fusako sees no alternative but to turn to streetwalking. Later, the two sisters are reunited when both are arrested during police raids, and find they must now cope with venereal disease and unwanted pregnancy. "[An] excellent portrayal of the postwar scene and women's pathos and bitterness" (Audie Bock). "[Mizoguchi's] findings. . . shocked the nation" (Donald Richie). Director: Kenji Mizoguchi. Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka, Sanae Takasugi, Mitsuo Nagata. B&W, In Japanese with English subtitles. [Daniel Richard]

A Woman of Rumour (1954) 84m. (Uwasa no onna) D: Kenji Mizoguchi.
Mizoguchi's follow-up to the masterful period piece Sansho the Bailiff was A Woman of Rumour, a contemporary drama which marked the end of his fruitful fourteen-film collaboration with the great actress Kinuyo Tanaka. (The subject of rumours themselves, Mizoguchi and Tanaka were purported to have been involved in a long-term love affair, and apparently had a major falling-out around this time: she is said to have rebuffed his proposals of marriage; he was accused of trying to prevent her from directing her first film.) Tanaka stars as Hatsuko, proprietor of a prosperous Kyoto brothel; Yoshiko Kuga is her daughter Yukiko, whom she sends off to Tokyo to get a proper education. When a suitor rejects her because of her mother's unsavoury occupation, Yukiko attempts suicide. She returns home to Kyoto, where further complications ensue when mother and daughter fall in love with the same man. "The film has the feeling of late Ford or Bu˝uel, of a director who has rummaged through all the styles of expression and arrived at the most subtly exquisite, minimalist ways of expressing his deepest, most complex sentiments" (Andrew Sarris, Village Voice). Cast: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tomoemon Otani, Yoshiko Kuga. B&W, In Japanese with English subtitles [Daniel Richard]

Japanese Movies by Title
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Japanese Movie Listing Main Page | Lisa's Favorite Japanese Movies | Japanese Movies By Director

Note that since each of these movies was seen by a normal human being, what you read here is just one person's opinion :) Your own opinion may of course be different! If you notice that a movie listing is missing or incorrect, please Contact Me (Really!! WRITE ME!!!) so I can update the list!

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