One of the themes much favored by the film officials of the occupying US forces was anything that had to do with crossing class or other traditional social boundaries when it came to friendship or romance. As usual, Kinoshita both embraces this trend while lending it his own peculiar spin. A rising automobile magnate from a humble background is offered the hand of the daughter of a well-known aristocratic family. Flattered at first, the prospective groom is terrified to meet his possible future bride, until he learns that her family is in fact penniless, and is hoping to use his money to retain their privileged lifestyle. Ozu regular Setsuko Hara is luminous as the young woman, at first willing to sacrifice for her family but later deciding she must follow her heart’s calling; Shuji Sano plays her intended with just the right mix of awkwardness and sincerity.
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