The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum
|The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum|
|Directed by||Kenji Mizoguchi|
|Written by||Shôfû Muramatsu (novel)
|Music by||Shirô Fukai
|Editing by||Koshi Kawahigashi|
|Release dates||October 13, 1939|
|Running time||142 min.|
The film is set in Japan in 1885. Kikunosuke Onoe, played in his movie debut by the stage actor Shotaro Hanayagi, is the adoptive son of a famous Kabuki actor, who is training to succeed his father in an illustrious career. While hypocritically praising Onoe's acting to his face, the rest of his father's troupe deride him behind his back. Otoku (Kakuko Mori), the young wet-nurse of Onoe's adoptive father's infant son, is the only one frank enough to disclose his artistic shortcomings and urge him to improve himself. When Otoku is dismissed by Onoe's family for her closeness to the young master, with its potential for scandal, Onoe is outraged and leaves Tokyo to hone his art away from his father, much to the latter's wrath.
Otoku eventually joins Onoe as his common law wife and encourages him, through many difficult times, to persevere with his career. When Onoe finally has his chance to join a famed Tokyo troupe, and establish himself as a nationally renowned Kabuki actor, Otoku (unknown to Onoe) sacrifices their relationship to enable Onoe to seize this opportunity and reconcile with his father. Though ultimately Onoe's father accepts Otoku as Onoe's wife, this reconciliation comes only when she is already on her deathbed with tuberculosis – like the wilting chrysanthemums of late fall, she dies at the moment of her husband's theatrical triumph.
- The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum at the Internet Movie Database
- The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum at allmovie
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