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The Key

  • 1959
  • Kon Ichikawa
  • 107 mins
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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Kon Ichikawa's darkly comic tale of spousal obedience and sexual prowess is also a sly satire on pornography and cinematic voyeurism. Adapted from the novel by Junichiro Tanizaki, the action stems from an ageing husband's hope that his wife's infidelity with a doctor will restore his potency. However, the liaison only sparks a tragic rivalry between his liberated wife and his ultra-traditional daughter. Compromised in its content by contemporary censorship strictures, this is still a daringly subversive picture, which benefits both from the subtly coloured widescreen lensing and the exemplary performance of Machiko Kyo, as the accommodating and unexpectedly accomplished wife.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Mr KenmochiGanjiro Nakamura
Ikuko KenmochiMachiko Kyo
KimuraTatsuya Nakadai
Toshiko KenmochiJunko Kano
HanaTanie Kitabayashi
MasseurIchiro Sugai
Dr SomaJun Hamamura
Dr KodamaMantaro Ushio
Curio dealerKyu Sazanka

Crew

rolename
DirectorKon Ichikawa

Details

Languages
Japanese
Formats
Colour
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