. Black and White . 72 minutes
Shochiku Kamata Studio
Ozu Yasujiro ('James Maki')
Okada Tokihiko (Okajima Kiichi)
Kawasaki Hiroko (Hiroko)
Iida Choko (Hiroko's Mother)
Date Satoko (Satoko)
Tsukida Ichiro (Yukimoto Teruo)
Iizuka Toshiiko (Ikuko, his Sister)
Yoshikawa Mitsuko (Mrs Tsukida)
Sakamoto Takeshi (Butler)
Okajima, a college student with invincible kendo
swordfighting skills, both vexes and amuses women
with his conservative ways and his big, brushy
beard which he carries with pride. One day, on
his way to his friend Baron Yukimoto's party,
he rescues the demure Hiroko from a brazen swindler,
Satoko. He goes to Hiroko's company for a job
interview and is rejected. Hiroko suggest that
he shave off his beard and he at once lands a
job, and attracts attention of both Yukimoto's
sister and Satoko. But his heart is set on Hiroko,
and despite some mix-up with Satoko, their faith
in each other is unshaken.
Thoughts from Ozu
Okada Tokihiko gave a smashing performance.
The film's a knock out! Even though it only took
eight days to shoot, feedback was much better
than that of Young Miss. This film business
is so unpredictable.
The 20th film shot in January 1931. At the end of
the previous year, Ozu made Young Miss (Ojosan),
written by Kitamura Komatsu, with Kurishima Sumiko
and Okada Tokihiko as leading actors. This film
achieved both commercial success and critical acclaim.
"This film contends with the best foreign
films. The more than 20 years of Japanese film history
seem to lead directly to this film" (Katano
Akeji). The next film The Lady and the Beard
is the second teaming of Ozu, Kitamura, and Okada.
The cast of the famous beau Eipan (Okada's nickname)
in a very masculine part (with beard) was a weird,
but successful idea of Kitamura. The audience has
the great pleasure to see his handsome face after
he shaves the beard. In the autumn of 1929, Okada
had changed from Nikkatsu to Shochiku. The Lady
and the Beard is his third film with Ozu, after
That Night's Wife and Young Miss.
This film was shot in a mutual effort in a mere
8 days (including overnight work). Komatsu was considered
an ace in the Kamata studio for the trilogy He
and Tokyo (Kare to Tokyo, 1928), He
and the Countryside (Kare to denen, 1928),
and He and Life (Kare to jinsei, 1929),
directed by Ushihara Kiyohiko and starring Denmel
Suzuki. He published novels and essays and was also
famous as a playwright under Osanai Kaoru's tuition.
One of his dramas (staged at Tsukiji Sho-Gekiji)
shows alignments with the contemporary current of
leftist tendencies. In this film, Kitamura used
Marx as a cause for cause. This was done very seldom,
since censorship was attentive to ideology, even
when used for fun.