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"Oden gets by on her beguiling looks and criminal skills – pick pocketing and shoplifting. Her ex-hus-band Jinjûrô is a former samurai who's become a drunken wastrel. They have a young daughter, O-Mitsu, whom he never lets Oden see. Oden's current husband is bed-ridden with tuberculosis, and always suspicious of her nocturnal activities. Her personal life becomes even more calamitous after a jewelry store scam leads her to start relationships with naïve rookie police officer Namikawa and the owner of the gem business, who runs an underground prostitution ring. From mud-soaked shacks in Tokyo to opulent gambling parlors in Yokohama, Oden's machinations leave a trail of bodies and a few scarred survivors. In the first decade of the Meiji era (1868-1878), newspapers became a vehicle for new literature, with dokufu-mono – "poison-woman stories" – being a common fixture. One such piece was written by newspaper editor and humorist Kanagaki Robun, about a woman named Takahashi Den (aka Oden), who was tried and sentenced to death (Japan's last execution by decapitation) for the murder of a curio shop owner in Tokyo. With no less than five films partially based on her tragic life, including a silent work from 1912, Nakagawa Nobuo's "A Wicked Woman" is deservedly the most famous." Jason Gray

Production: Shintoho, Tokyo

World Sales: Kokusai Hoei

Screenplay: Nakatsu Katsuyoshi, Nakazawa Shin, based on a novel by Kanagaki Robun

Cinematographer: Kawasaki Kikuzo

Art Direction: Kurosawa Haruyasu

Composer: Watanabe Michiaki

Sound: Numata Haruo

Cast: Wakasugi Katsuko, Tanba Tetsuro, Matsumoto Asao, Akechi Juzaburo, Funabashi Gen

Format, screen ratio: 35mm, 1:1.37, s/w

Running time: 74 minutes, 24 frames/sec.

Language: Japanese

Foto: ©Kokusai Hoei

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur