Sog.: Motoo Matsumura. Scen.: Masaki Tsuji. F.: Shinsaku Himeda. Scgf.: Takeo Kimura, Akiyoshi Satani. Mus.: Yoshio Murayama. Int.: Chiemi Eri (Midori Kawai), Hideko Kariya (Hideko Kawai), Taiji Tonoyama (Senkichi Hanamura), Isamu Kosugi (Toho Tani), Yujiro Ishihara (Haruo Nanjo), Shinsuke Maki (Ken), Go Kuroda (Bob Hope), Shintaro Kido (Dam Dam), Kuniko Komuro (Sanae), Michiko Sakyo (Kotomi). Prod.: Nikkatsu. DCP. Col
In this musical Cinderella story, Chiemi Eri plays Midori, a sales girl for Camelia oil from the island of Oshima, with a talent for singing. Her talent is discovered and her career takes off, finally giving her the chance to perform at a venue in the prestigious Marunouchi area of Tokyo. The film’s climactic show is a gorgeously impressive spectacle.
This lively musical comedy is typical of the youth-oriented cinema produced at Nikkatsu in the midto late-1950s, when the studio courted the generation that was coming of age in the newly prosperous, liberal, democratic Japan. The film marked a collaboration between two of Japan’s most popular stars. As part of a trio of young actresses and singers who worked collectively under the billing of sannin musume (‘three girls’), Eri was seen last year at Bologna in the Toho production, Janken musume (So Young, So Bright, 1955). Here, she works at Nikkatsu alongside Yujiro Ishihara, who, after making a dramatic star debut in Ko Nakahira’s story of delinquent youth, Kurutta kajitsu (Crazed Fruit, 1956), had quickly became one of Japan’s most celebrated actors. As Michael Raine writes, “by 1958, [he] was the biggest male star in Japan” and “epitomized the sensitive tough guy in cinema and in popular music”. Both stars were to sustain successful careers both onscreen and in music, but were sadly to die, still relatively young, in the mid-1980s. Director Sunohara (1906-1997) was a successful commercial filmmaker at Nikkatsu and Toei, with around eighty films to his credit.
The “Kinema Junpo” reviewer praised the improved quality of the Konicolor process, saying that the film brought that process one step closer to the quality of Eastmancolor. Although critical of the film’s overall incoherence, which he partially attributed to the director’s inexperience with the musical genre, he praised star Eri for her singing and dancing, which he saw as the finest in the film, as well appreciating Ishihara’s sweet vocal cords.