Sunday, October 25, 2015


Set in 1700's Japan. Osan is the wife of a wealthy businessman. Her "weak-willed" brother desperately needs some money within three days or he's going to be thrown in prison. Osan knows that her ruthless husband will never give her the money so instead she asks his trusted employee Mohei to steal it for her. Mohei agrees, but when he's caught things quickly go from bad to worse when Osan and Mohei are falsely accused of being lovers, which is punishable by public crucifixion!!! To complicate matters, the husband's business rivals want the story of the lovers to be true (or at least believed to be true) so that he'll be exiled.

I enjoyed THE CRUCIFIED LOVERS...the direction by Kenji Mizoguchi was good and the cinematography by Kazuo (RASHOMON, YOJIMBO) Miyagawa was very nice...but the story was too slow and the ending disappointing. I really wanted there to be a bigger sense of desperation in the two lovers on the run.  Also, it seemed to me, that neither Mohei or Osan really tried to escape.  Everything they did was self-defeating and they seemed resigned to their fate right from the moment they took off.  The best part of the film was the first 20 minutes when it was showing the hectic running of the business and the secret household dramas, then the lovers go on the run and the story runs out of steam.  Still, it's worth a watch for fans of classic Japanese Cinema.