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When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

Genres: Foreign, Drama, Criterion Collection, 60s, Japan, Foreign Drama, Japanese Cinema

Cast: Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Reiko Dan, Tatsuya Nakadai

Director: Mikio Naruse

Synopsis: WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse's finest hour — a delicate, devastating study of Keiko (the heartbreaking Takamine Hideko), a bar hostess in Tokyo's very modern postwar Ginza district, who entertains businessmen after work. Sly, resourceful, but trapped, Keiko comes to embody the conflicts and struggles of a woman trying to establish her independence in a male-dominated society. WHEN A WOMAN ASCENDS THE STAIRS shows the largely unsung yet widely beloved master Naruse at his most socially exacting and profoundly emotional.

Language: Japanese

Country of Origin: Japan

Production Year: 1960


  • "Magnificent melodrama - this could give heartbreak lessons to Fassbinder and Sirk.", The Village Voice
  • "Beguilingly poetic!", New York Magazine

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
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