Ukigumo (Floating Clouds) (1955)




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Movie Info

Floating Clouds is set in the dissolution of Japanese society after the war. Yukiko wanders figuratively and literally through a devastated Tokyo searching for a means of existence and comfort. At all turns, she is manipulated by men and forced to submit to their manipulations when she is unable to support herself. Returning to Tokyo at the end of the war, Yukiko tries to get a number of jobs but none of her attempts are successful. As a result she turns to prostitution, catering to American occupation forces. During this time a number of men, including her brother-in-law and her former lover Tomioka, come forward to help her, but their generosity is only a mask for their sexual desires. Eventually Tomioka's wife dies and he takes Yukiko to an island where he is to begin a new job. Their happiness is forestalled when Yukiko, sorely tried by her life, falls ill and dies. ~ Brian Whitener, Rovi


Hideko Takamine
as Yukiko Koda
Masayuki Mori
as Kengo Tomioka
Mariko Okada
as Osei Mukai
Isao Yamagata
as Sugio Iba
Chieko Nakakita
as Kuniko Tomioka
Daisuke Katô
as Sekichi Mukai

Critic Reviews for Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2)

Quietly eloquent, immaculately crafted.

May 22, 2014 | Full Review…

[Naruse's] meanings are contained in his actors' faces and in his distinctive dovetailing of dramatic incidents, a narrative pattern that allows his characters no rest, but affords a strange peace in its constancy.

Dec 6, 2005 | Full Review…

The lights-out melodrama might be the master filmmaker's best film.

Jul 19, 2013 | Rating: A | Full Review…

A colleague astutely described Floating Clouds's ever-deepening sense of detachment as a precursor to Fassbinder.

Nov 8, 2005 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ukigumo (Floating Clouds)

Melodrama with very rare sensibility and tremendously affecting performances.

George Matalliotakis
George Matalliotakis

Super Reviewer

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