Singing Lovebirds

Singing Lovebirds

鴛鴦歌合戦 (Oshidori Utagassen)
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Singing Lovebirds © 1939 Nikkatsu Corporation.

A tie-up with the Teichiku record company starring jazz singers Dick Mine and Tomiko Hattori alongside singer-actress Haruyo Ichikawa and sword film superstar Chiezo Kataoka. This love quadrangle between a masterless samurai and three eligible suitors was marketed with the tagline "a rare operetta in which jazz bursts into the period film." As an operetta, characters speak in song (including Ichikawa's father, played by Takashi Shimura, the leader of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai) but the film is also musical in its utopian claim that the only authentic thing in the world is not traditional culture, or money, but love. Directed by Masahiro Makino, perhaps the most prolific director of musical films in Japan. 

1939, 69 min., 35mm, b&w. In Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Masahiro Makino. With Chiezo Kataoka, Takashi Shimura, Haruyo Ichikawa, Dick Mine, Tomiko Hattori.

Print courtesy of National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

Tickets: $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors & students

Part of the 2016 Globus Film Series Japan Sings! The Japanese Musical Film.

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