Yasujiro Ozu

Walk Cheerfully

Walk Cheerfully

In Yasujiro Ozu’s Walk Cheerfully, which gracefully combines elements of the relationship drama and the gangster story, small-time hood Kenji, a.k.a. Ken the Knife, wants to go straight for good girl Yasue but finds that starting over isn’t as simple as it sounds. This was the Japanese master’s first true homage to American crime movies, and it is a fleetly told, expressively shot work of humor and emotional depth.

Film Info

  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Japan
  • 1930
  • 96 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese

Available In

Collector's Set

Eclipse Series 42: Silent Ozu—Three Crime Dramas

Silent Ozu—Three Crime Dramas

DVD Box Set

3 Discs

$35.96

Walk Cheerfully
Cast
Minoru Takada
Kenji Koyama
Hiroko Kawasaki
Yasue Sugimoto
Nobuko Matsuzono
Yasue’s sister
Utako Suzuki
The mother
Hisao Yoshitani
Senko
Teruo Mori
Gunpei
Satoko Date
Chieko
Takeshi Sakamoto
Ono, the company president
Credits
Director
Yasujiro Ozu
Original story by
Hiroshi Shimizu
Screenplay
Tadao Ikeda
Cinematography
Hideo Mohara

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With his singular and unwavering style, Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu disregarded the established rules of cinema and created a visual language all his own. Precise compositions, contemplative pacing, low camera angles, and elliptical storytelling a…

On Film / Short Takes
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Yasujiro Ozu

Director

Yasujiro Ozu has often been called the “most Japanese” of Japan’s great directors. From 1927, the year of his debut for Shochiku studios, to 1962, when, a year before his death at age sixty, he made his final film, Ozu consistently explored the rhythms and tensions of a country trying to reconcile modern and traditional values, especially as played out in relations between the generations. Though he is best known for his sobering 1953 masterpiece Tokyo Story, the apex of his portrayals of the changing Japanese family, Ozu began his career in the thirties, in a more comedic, though still socially astute, mode, with such films as I Was Born, But . . . and Dragnet Girl. He then gradually mastered the domestic drama during the war years and afterward, employing both physical humor, as in Good Morning, and distilled drama, as in Late Spring, Early Summer, and Floating Weeds. Though Ozu was discovered relatively late in the Western world, his trademark rigorous style—static shots, often from the vantage point of someone sitting low on a tatami mat; patient pacing; moments of transcendence as represented by the isolated beauty of everyday objects—has been enormously influential among directors seeking a cinema of economy and poetry.