When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

Synopsis: This is the story of Mama, a.k.a. Keiko, a middle-aged bar hostess who must choose to either get married or buy a bar of her own. Her family hounds her for money, her customers for her attention, and she is continually in debt. The life of a bar hostess is examined as well as the way in which the system traps and sometimes kills those in it.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Mikio Naruse
Production: Ryuzo Kikushima
 
IMDB:
8.2
Rotten Tomatoes:
100%
NOT RATED
Year:
1960
111 min
12 Views

WHEN A WOMAN:

ASCENDS THE STAIRS

Produced and Written by

RYUZO KIKUSHIMA:

Cinematography by MASAO TAMAI

Production Design by SATOSHI CHUKO

Music by TOSHIRO MAYUZUMI

Edited by EIJI OOI

Costumes by HIDEKO TAKAMINE

Starring

HIDEKO TAKAMINE:

MASAYUKI MORI, REIKO DAN

TATSUYA NAKADAI:

DAISUKE KATO, GANJIRO NAKAMURA

EITARO OZAWA, KEIKO AWAJI

KYU SAZANKA, JUN TATARA

YU FUJIKI, MASAO ODA

KEN MITSUDA, CHIKAKO HOSOKAWA

SADAKO SAWAMURA:

NORIKO SENGOKU, KIN SUGAI

Directed by

MIKIO NARUSE:

An afternoon in late autumn.

Bars in the daytime

are like women without makeup.

THE LILAC BAR:

Not like that!

You got married in a church,

so kiss like foreigners do.

That's right!

Hurry up.

Not like that.

Try again.

Stop teasing.

He's sweating.

I'm surprised Miyuki got married first.

She loved working here.

Marriage is what

every woman wants.

Not me.

I'm going to save some money

and open my own place.

Shall we cut the cake?

Shouldn't we wait for Mama?

Mama?

We're waiting for you.

What?

Well, please hurry.

The owner's chewing out

Mama and Mr. Komatsu.

Mr. Komatsu?

I wonder why.

It's obvious.

"You're not making

enough money!"

I guess it isn't easy

being a mama.

Sales were down last month

and the month before.

Why?

Mama's doing her best.

Isn't it because

Mr. Minobe stopped coming in?

Sorry my phone call

took so long.

Mama, do you know

where Mr. Minobe goes these days?

Yuri's bar.

The same Yuri

who worked for you.

Minobe has contacts

at big companies.

If you call him,

he'll come by.

I wonder.

Your job

is to make money for me.

If sales are down again this month,

I'll replace you.

Understand?

Don't be so prim.

Yuri goes all out.

He's trying to humiliate me!

Telling me to do such a thing!

But business has plummeted.

Even so, I won't call him.

It's not just Mr. Minobe.

I've never begged

anyone to come in.

It's not pride.

I hate doing that.

I hate liquor,

yet I drink my fill every night.

Isn't that "going all out"?

Get your own place.

Where would I find a million yen?

Mama, don't worry.

Any of the 700 bars

in the Ginza would hire you.

What's that?

I hate that sound.

I've got a bill to collect on.

Regards to Miyuki.

- Mama!

- What happened?

Suicide.

The Bluebird hostess.

The fortune-teller was right.

Fortune-teller?

I took her to a fortune-teller

who predicted misfortune,

and it hit her hard.

Something awful's happened!

I heard.

I'm sorry I'm late.

The Bluebird was

heavily mortgaged.

- I heard it was a love triangle.

- Not debt?

Her patron and her lover

had a fight.

How old was she?

Forty-three,

but she looked younger.

- Aging's hard on a woman.

- I'd better save up for the old folks' home.

Enough of that talk.

Sing, somebody!

We've got a train to catch.

Thanks for everything.

I'll go see them off.

He could at least buy

second-class tickets.

Try to think more positively.

It won't be easy!

Be grateful you got

a chance to marry.

Compared to handling drunks,

his mother will be easy.

Mr. Matsui,

take good care of her.

We're not far.

Please come visit.

Thank you.

As the office girls

are leaving work,

our work is just beginning.

This is nice.

Or is it too plain?

No, but it's a bit matronly.

Really? I'd still like it.

You sure?

Twin matches - good luck!

Stop acting

like a cheap cabaret girl.

It's vulgar.

You sure know how to eat.

You just ruined the taste.

- Other shops sell these for less.

- Ours are better.

I'll take these.

How about a discount?

You'll ruin me!

How much is this?

Don't say that.

Just come by.

We haven't seen you

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