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.
On his deathbed, a wealthy businessman announces that his fortune is to be split equally among his three illegitimate children, whose whereabouts are unknown to his family and colleagues. A bevy of lawyers and associates then begin machinations to procure the money for themselves, enlisting the aid of impostors and blackmail. Yet all are outwitted by the cunning of the man's secretary (Keiko Kishi), in this entertaining condemnation of unchecked greed.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 16, 2020 at 08:58 PM