I just watched this as part of Criterion's box set of Kobayashi's early movies. It was the movie he made right after completing The Human Condition, and while it's not in the same rank as that or some of his other masterpieces, it is still very enjoyable and very much worth seeing. A rich business executive is dying and decides he wants to meet with his three illegitimate children before dying to see if they're worthy of including in his will. This sets up a mad scramble between his relatives and employees to see who can best finagle the situation to their advantage. There's nothing much new here thematically (money corrupts, people are naturally greedy, etc.) but it's fun watching the story play out. Plus, beautiful cinematography and a great jazz score make this a must see.
A dying businessman intends to will two hundred million yen to his three illegitimate children, but his associates scheme to take advantage of the situation.
November 27, 2020