Kagi (Odd Obsession) (The Key) (1959)



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Movie Info

Several cinematic variations on Junichiro Tanizaki's novel about jealousy, voyeurism, and sexual arousal began with this award-winning drama by director Kon Ichikawa. Kenji Kenmochi (Ganjiro Nakamura) is the older and increasingly impotent husband of young Ikuko (Machiko Kyo). He is desperate to regain his virility and when injections fail to do the trick, he discovers by spying on his daughter and her lover that jealousy will arouse him. Determined to succeed, he connives to bring his wife and his daughter's lover together -- so he can become jealous and sexually virile again. Unfortunately for Kenji, his plan has tragic consequences. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi


Machiko Kyo
as Ikuko Kenmochi
Ganjiro Nakamura
as Mr. Kenji Kenmochi
Junko Kano
as Toshiko Kenmochi
Ichiro Sugai
as Masseur
Jun Hamamura
as Dr. Soma
Kyu Sazanka
as Curio dealer
Mantaro Ushio
as Dr. Kodama
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Critic Reviews for Kagi (Odd Obsession) (The Key)

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (4)

Ichikawa's more straightforward narrative method doesn't do justice to all the ironies, but this is a still a singular and memorable movie.

Oct 23, 2007 | Full Review…

One of his most striking films.

Aug 28, 2006 | Full Review…

The film cannily shifts through different points of view.

Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The point is made early; the rest is perversity without passion.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Odd Obsession won a film festival award a few years back, but just why isn't apparent. The movie displays a cold-blooded fascination with the erotic in its study of an aging man and his search for restored virility.

Nov 15, 2018 | Full Review…

Never fully aroused me.

Sep 17, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Kagi (Odd Obsession) (The Key)


[font=Century Gothic]In "Odd Obsession," Kenji Kenmochi(Ganjiro Nakamura) is worried about not being able to please his younger wife, Ikuko(Machiko Kyo), sexually anymore, now that he is getting older. One possible solution he has is to use Dr. Kimura(Tatsuya Nakadai) as a focus for his jealousy. Complicating matters is that Dr. Kimura is treating Kenji, while trying to keep it secret from his wife, so as not to worry her. Complicating matters even further, is that Kimura is hoping to marry Toshiko(Junko Kano), his grown daughter...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Directed by Kon Ichikawa, "Odd Obsession" is a perversely satisfying morality tale. As with any movie of this subgenre, there is a line that is crossed, in this case it involves desire. While it is not wrong for Kenji to want to satisfy his wife, he also has to remember that growing old is a natural part of life and it is best to do so gracefully. Remember that this movie was made long before the invention of Viagra but practically foresees one of the more popular uses of the internet.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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