Endless Desire (Hateshinaki yokubo) (1958)





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Movie Info

Ten years after World War II, five people set out dig up a stash of morphine buried under a butcher shop.
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


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Audience Reviews for Endless Desire (Hateshinaki yokubo)


"Endless Desire" starts with a group of four men getting together in a town square not for a reunion, but to recover buried loot. Tensions are immediately raised when it turns out that Yamamoto is crashing the party. However, he is not the only new face as Shima(Misako Watanabe) introduces herself as the sister of the late, lamented Major. She proves herself worthy when she points out that the oil drum of morphine they are all interested in is now buried beneath a butcher's shop. Their decision to tunnel from an empty house is complicated when they have to hire the landlord's useless son Satoru(Hiroyuki Nagato) in order to rent the property. In any case, Shima tells the men that whoever digs the most will get to have her which is important considering the time limit they are now under. "Endless Desire" is a darkly entertaining black comedy from Shohei Imamura where even with this early feature shows a great deal of skill, especially in shots of both above and below ground and of the movie's climax. But one has to wonder about the timing of the job not only because I am concerned about how long morphine stays good. That's not to mention how some of the comic relief overwhelms the tension at times, even as I think Satoru and Ryuko(Hitomi Nizoe) are meant to symbolize any kind of optimism for Japan's postwar future.

Walter M.
Walter M.

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