女を楽しくするニュースサイト「ウーマンライフ WEB 版」

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特集「追悼 高峰秀子」2 カルメン故郷に帰る(1951年)【ヒューマンコメディ映画】 Carmen Comes Home (1951) (in memory of Hideko Takamine)

監督 木下恵介/Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
出演 高峰秀子、小林トシ子、佐野周二/Starring: Hideko Takamine‚ Toshiko Kobayashi‚ Shuuji Sano



Hideko Takamine’s chameleon-like transformation

This is a masterpiece. Stripper Lily Carmen (Hideko Takamine) is in actuality carefree and overflowing with feelings of freedom. The finished product of Kinoshita’s film is through the power of the beauty of nature; the base of Mt. Asamayama in Shinshu.

A girl who from childhood fell out of trees‚ was kicked by cows‚ went a bit crazy and left her home to go to Tokyo‚ becomes a stripper and then returns home. She believes that stripping is a grand art that attracts men. In other words‚ she intends to come home in triumph. Takamine returns with her stripper friend Akemi Maya (Toshiko Kobayashi). Hearing of “Carmen’s return”‚ people soon aim to make a profit. Carmen comes walking down the country road to the village brightly singing a chanson. It is the best. The composer was the then 21 year old Toshiro Mayuzumi. Takamine’s song became a hit.

Carmen’s father and the principle of the elementary school that she graduated from are ashamed at what she has done and they become exhausted. Carmen’s ordinariness is the extraordinariness‚ and the frightening gap of the underworld that she brought into the lives of people of the ordinary world greatly stimulates drama. Inspired by the prairies of their hometown Mt. Asamayama‚ Carmen and Maya strip off and boldly dance. Without a cloud in the sky‚ the dance of the women is thrilling.

Their performance ends as a big success‚ Carmen’s father donates their fee to the elementary school (just like an aquittal fee paid for trouble)‚ and the exhultant pair leave for Tokyo. As expected this movie has a hidden flavour. In the village is a former soldier (Shuuji Sano) who produces a pure song like a school anthem for the children. On the day of the sports festival he performs it on an organ. It really is a good song (although Carmen spoils it). The principal and the others lament that there is no need for a strip show during such good music.

It was the post-war era. The audience was craving freedom‚ peace‚ laughter‚ regrowth and entertainment. The thoughts and feelings of the principal and the others‚ when compared to Carmen and Maya’s off-rhythm but bursting with life behaviour‚ makes you want to cry as you are forced to realise the cliched vividness of it all. The earnings at the time of Japan’s first ever full colour mega hit was ¥68 million. Takamine looked at the script and said that she was a bit shocked at the role of a slightly crazy stripper. But even then if she played a cuckoo she played a teacher‚ if she played a young woman she played a prostitute. Takamine’s limitless‚ chameleon-like power of transformation converged. Is this power what can be called performance?