Scandal (1950 film)

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Shubun poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written byAkira Kurosawa
Ryūzō Kikushima
Produced by Takashi Koide
Starring Toshirō Mifune
Takashi Shimura
Shirley Yamaguchi
Noriko Sengoku
Music by Fumio Hayasaka
Distributed by Shochiku Co. Ltd.
Release date
April 30, 1950
Running time
104 minutes
Language Japanese

Scandal (Japanese: 醜聞(スキャンダル), Hepburn: Sukyandaru, a.k.a. Shūbun [1] ) is a 1950 Japanese film written and directed by Akira Kurosawa. The film stars Toshirō Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Shirley Yamaguchi. [2] [3]



Ichiro Aoye (Toshiro Mifune), an artist, meets a famous young classical singer, Miyako Saijo (Shirley Yamaguchi) while he is working on a painting in the mountains. She is on foot, having missed her bus, but they discover they are staying at the same hotel, so Aoye gives Saijo a ride back to town on his motorcycle. On the way, they are spotted by paparazzi from the tabloid magazine Amour. Saijo refuses to grant the photographers an interview, so they plot their revenge and are able to take a picture of Aoye and Saijo on the balcony of her room and print it along with a fabricated story under the headline "The Love Story of Miyako Saijo".

Aoye is outraged by this false scandal and plans to sue the magazine. During the subsequent media circus, he is approached by a down-and-out lawyer, Hiruta (Takashi Shimura), who claims to share Aoye's anger with the press. Aoye hires Hiruta as his attorney, but Hiruta is desperate for money to care for his daughter, Masako (Yōko Katsuragi), who has a terminal case of tuberculosis, so he accepts a bribe from the editor of Amour in exchange for agreeing to throw the trial. The trial proceeds badly for the plaintiffs and Hiruta, struck by the kindness of Aoye and Saijo towards Masako and Masako's disgust at the way he is handling the case, becomes ridden with guilt. Masako dies near the end of the trial, convinced that Aoye and Saijo will win, since they have the truth on their side. On the final day in court Hiruta, prodded by his conscience, confesses to taking the bribe and Amour loses the case. [4]



Scandal was described by Kurosawa himself as a protest film about "the rise of the press in Japan and its habitual confusion of freedom with license. Personal privacy is never respected and the scandal sheets are the worst offenders." [5] The movie depicts aspects of so-called kasutori culture, a phenomenon of early postwar Japan that refers to the proliferation of sleazy magazines and cheap alcohol. [6]

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  1. The Japanese title "醜聞" is a kanji word which is pronounced "Shūbun" in standard Japanese. However the furigana "スキャンダル sukyandaru" is officially added to the Japanese title. Shochiku official web site
  2. "醜聞". Kinema Junpo . Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  3. "醜聞". kotobank. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  4. "醜聞". Agency for Cultural Affairs 映画情報システム. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  5. Richie, Donald (1999). The Films of Akira Kurosawa. p. 65.
  6. Conrad, David A. (2022). Akira Kurosawa and Modern Japan. pp. 76–77. ISBN   978-1-4766-8674-5.