Yasujiro Ozu

That Night's Wife

That Night's Wife

In noirish darkness, a man commits a shocking robbery. But, as we soon learn, this seeming criminal mastermind is actually a sensitive everyman driven to desperation by the need to provide for his family. Unfolding over the course of one night, Yasujiro Ozu’s That Night’s Wife combines suspense with the emotional domestic drama one associates with the filmmaker’s later masterpieces, and employs beautifully evocative camera work.

Film Info

  • Yasujiro Ozu
  • Japan
  • 1930
  • 65 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

That Night's Wife
Cast
Tokihiko Okada
Shuji Hashizume
Emiko Yagumo
Mayumi
Mitsuko Ichimura
Michiko
Togo Yamamoto
Detective Kagawa
Tatsuo Saito
Suda, the doctor
Credits
Director
Yasujiro Ozu
Based on the story “From Nine to Nine” by
Oscar Schisgall
Screenplay
Kogo Noda
Cinematography
Hideo Mohara

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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.