Scandal (1950 film)

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Scandal
Shubun poster.jpg
Original Japanese poster
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Produced by Takashi Koide
Written by Akira Kurosawa
Ryuzo Kikushima
Starring Toshirō Mifune
Takashi Shimura
Shirley Yamaguchi
Noriko Sengoku
Music by Fumio Hayasaka
Studio Shochiku Co. Ltd.
Distributed by Shochiku Co. Ltd.
Release dates April 30, 1950
Running time 104 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Scandal (醜聞(スキャンダル) Sukyandaru?, aka Shūbun[1]) is a 1950 film written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film stars Toshirō Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Shirley Yamaguchi.

Plot[edit]

Ichiro Aoye (Toshirō Mifune), an artist, meets a famous young classical singer, Miyako Saijo (Shirley Yamaguchi) whilst working on his paintings in the mountains. After discovering they are both heading for the same location he offers to give her a motorcycle ride to where they are staying. On the way, they are spotted by paparazzi for the tabloid magazine Amour, who track the two down. As Saijo refuses to grant the photographers an interview, they plot their revenge by taking a picture of the couple having breakfast on a balcony and print it under the headline 'The Love Story of Miyako Saijo'.

Aoye is outraged by this false scandal and plans to sue the magazine. During the subsequent media circus, Aoye is approached by a down-and-out lawyer, Hiruta (Takashi Shimura), who claims to share Aoye's anger with the press. Aoye takes him for his attorney, but Hiruta, desperate for money to cure his daughter with terminal tuberculosis, Masako (Yôko Katsuragi), accepts a bribe from the editor of the magazine to throw the trial. The trial proceeds badly for the plaintiffs. Struck by the kindness of Aoye and Saijo towards his Masako, and Masako's own disgust at the way he is handling the case, Hiruta becomes ridden with guilt. As the trial draws to an end, Masako dies, convinced that Aoye and Saijo will win the case. On the final day of the trial Hiruta, prodded by his conscience, confesses all and though he is disbarred, his reputation is saved and Amour loses the case.

Commentary[edit]

Scandal was described by Kurosawa himself as a protest film about "the rise of the press in Japan and its habitual confusion of freedom with license. Personal privacy is never respected and the scandal sheets are the worst offenders."[2]

It perhaps isn't coincidental that Mifune's character in the film is a painter. Kurosawa had toyed with the idea of becoming a painter before becoming a director, and always retained a passion for painting; he often painted the storyboards for his films.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Japanese title "醜聞" is a kanji word which is pronounced "Shūbun" in standard Japanese. However the furigana "スキャンダル sukyandaru" is officially added to the Japanese title. Shochiku official web site
  2. ^ Richie, Donald (1999). The Films of Akira Kurosawa. p. 65. 

External links[edit]