“What madness to have hidden such a jewel!”
A beautiful scullery maid (Machiko Kyo) becomes the wife of the Emperor (Masayuki Mori) in 8th century Japan, and must sacrifice herself for the sake of his honor.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Cross-Class Romance
- Japanese Films
- Kenzi Mizoguchi Films
- Royalty and Nobility
Response to Peary’s Review:
This “rare color film by Kenji Mizoguchi” — a Japanese Cinderella story based on historical legend — features a touching cross-class romance, colorful scenery, and a befittingly tragic ending. Princess Yang Kwei Fei — beautiful, selfless, noble, and “equally at ease in a palace or mingling with the common people” — is the epitome of womanhood in director Kenji Mizoguchi’s eyes, and is treated with sympathetic idealism. While not as indispensable as Mizoguchi’s Sansho, the Bailiff (1954), Ugetsu (1953), or The Life of Oharu (1952), this lovely historical fairy tale is very much worth watching.
- Kohei Sugiyama’s rich cinematography
- Princess Yang and Emperor Zong wandering through a street bazaar together
No, but it’s highly recommended.