“I see death in your face! Have you encountered a ghost?”
A potter (Masayuki Mori) and his brother-in-law (Eitaro Ozawa) go to the city to sell their wares, where they succomb to the temptations of love and excitement. Mori has an affair with beautiful Machiko Kyo (who turns out to be a ghost), while Ozawa runs off to become a samurai. Meanwhile, their wives (Kinuyo Tanaka and Mitsuko Mito) are left at the mercy of a roaming band of samurai, who will either kill them or force them into prostitution.
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “haunting, beautifully shot” film contains many of Kenji Mizoguchi’s favored themes: women who are portrayed as “the victims of insensitive men”; men who are chastised for sacrificing “familial happiness for money or glory”; and real-life history blending seamlessly with supernatural legend. A morality play at heart, Ugetsu remains a poignant meditation on the importance of loyalty to one’s spouse above all else. As noted by one commenter on IMDb, this film is a worthy precursor to The Sixth Sense (1999) in its handling of a “spectral twist”.
- Countless memorable images, including a boat ride across mist-shrouded water
- Effectively eerie supernaturalism
Yes. All film fanatics should see this classic of Japanese cinema.
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)