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Actress (1987)

Eiga joyû (original title)
The life of Kinuyo Tanaka, who has played in many Kenji Mizoguchi's films.


Kon Ichikawa
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Sayuri Yoshinaga Sayuri Yoshinaga ... Kinuyo Tanaka
Mitsuko Mori Mitsuko Mori ... Mother
Bunta Sugawara ... Kenji Mizoguchi
Koji Ishizaka Koji Ishizaka ... Shiro Kido (as Kôji Ishizaka)
Kiichi Nakai ... Heinosuke Gosho
Yasuko Sawaguchi Yasuko Sawaguchi ... Seiko
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mitsuru Hirata Mitsuru Hirata ... Nakama
Hisashi Igawa ... Isoya
Kyôko Kishida ... Kuginukiya
Yûsuke Koike Yûsuke Koike ... Kiyohiko Ushihara
Shigemitsu Ogi Shigemitsu Ogi ... Yasujiro Ozu
Miki Sanjô Miki Sanjô ... Middle aged woman
Masafumi Satô Masafumi Satô ... Hideo Komai, producer
Kôkichi Takada Kôkichi Takada ... Kokichi Takada
Ryûzô Tanaka Ryûzô Tanaka ... Shozo
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The life of Kinuyo Tanaka, who has played in many Kenji Mizoguchi's films.

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User Reviews

Ichikawa exploits the memory of Kinuyo Tanaka
22 May 2003 | by kerpanSee all my reviews

Kinuyo Tanaka was not only one of Japan's greatest actresses during the first half or so of the 20th century, but one of the world's greatest, starring in important films by Ozu, Naruse and Mizoguchi (among others) Kon Ichikawa's "Eiga joyu" ("Movie actress") (1987) is basically a cheesy docu-drama made to "honor" the tenth anniversary of her death. Despite more than decent acting talent -- including a near-dead-ringer for Mizoguchi -- the largely leaden dialog, pedestrian cinematography and unbelievably wretched soundtrack dragged this down. Kaneto Shindo, director of a peculiar documentary of Mizoguchi that spent a lot of time trying to harrass the (unflappable) Kinuyo Tanaka, seems to have been involved as writer here -- so I'd like to blame him for this fiasco -- but I'm afraid that the buck needs to stop with Ichikawa.

Despite all the above, there are some nice things to note. The film starts off wonderfully with a scene in a early 20th C. film lab (I'm guessing that this features Tanaka's oldest brother -- who is only talked about afterwards as a draft evader). The film also contains chunks of many early Japanese films (not all clearly identified in the subtitles, alas) including about a minute of Sadao Yamanaka's "Humanity and Paper Balloons" (judging from this, he was setting out on the path that Kurosawa would later explore -- many feel that Yamanaka was Japan's greatest maker of historical films, despite the fact that he died in his 20s).

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Release Date:

20 June 1987 (USA) See more »

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Actress See more »

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Toho Company See more »
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