Zangiku monogatari (The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums) (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

Zangiku monogatari (The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums) (1979)

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Movie Info

Story of the Late Chrysanthemum (Zangiku monogatari) was the only film made in 1939 by the astonishingly prolific Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi). The plot, based on an ancient legend, concerns the son of a renowned Kabuki actor. When the son falls in love with a servant girl, his father violently opposes the union. This, coupled with several impulsive decisions by the younger people, eventually results in tragedy. Like many of Mizoguchi's best works, this dwells upon the adverse results stemming from class consciousness and the depersonalization of women. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Shôtarô Hanayagi
as Kikunosuke Onoue
Gonjurô Kawarazaki
as Kikugoro Onoue
Kôkichi Takada
as Fukusuke Nakamura
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Critic Reviews for Zangiku monogatari (The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

I was struck not just by newly visible detail in the frame itself, but also the spectacularly effective nuances of performance from the entire cast, particularly the leads.

December 27, 2015 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

Throughout his career, Mizoguchi depicted the moral crisis of Japan's subjugation of women; here, he raises it to the most exalted realms of tragedy.

December 14, 2015 | Full Review…
New Yorker
Top Critic

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum, for its length and rawness, can be a difficult film to watch. But its richness of detail evokes life to a degree that few films can match.

December 8, 2016 | Full Review…
Film Inquiry

The story, the effective acting, and the period-specific recreations of Kabuki would be enough for most films, but this one has Mizoguchi behind the camera, applying his rigorous formalism.

September 7, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
Groucho Reviews

Mizoguchi's harmonious yet unexpected compositions, his andante tempo and long takes, and his pellucid blocking produce sequences that resonate throughout the movie, often with material as mundane as the slicing of a watermelon.

January 2, 2016 | Full Review…
Film Comment Magazine

One of the most visually beautiful black-and-white films ever made, this cinematic ode to the glory of Kabuki somehow falls short on an emotional level.

December 23, 2015 | Full Review…
Film Journal International

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