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Scandal (Shubun) is a full length Japanese live-action movie that was written and directed by one of the greatest Japanese directors of all time: Akira Kurosawa. The movie was released in 1950 and stars, of course, Kurosawa’s favorite actor, Toshirō Mifune. The movie was shot and released in black and white and runs for 104 minutes. Kurosawa once described Scandal as a protest film. Kurosawa was frustrated by the way the press had risen to almost control Japan and wanted to make a movie that clearly demonstrated his frustrations with the entire media empire.


'Scandal is the story about a painter named Ichiro Aoye. Aoye is extremely famous and beloved for his work. One day, while he is on a holiday in the mountains, he is introduced to Miyako Saijo, a young singer who is as famous as he is. She has no ride so Aoye gallantly offers to bring her back to the hotel, where he too is staying. A group of photographers, or paparazzi, are following Saijo and she gets frustrated. She refuses to give them an interview or to pose for any pictures.

The photographers, maddened and wanting revenge, decide to cause a scandal in order to get even with Saijo. They take a picture of Saijo and Aoye talking. They take the picture and print it, using the headline, “The Love Story of Miyako Saijo”. Saijo is furious and Aoye is simply bewildered. Suddenly Aoye and Saijo are surrounded by paparazzi at all times. A lawyer advises Aoye to sue the magazine for slander. Aoye agrees. The lawyer, Hiruta, says that he will help Ayoe sue the magazine. The editor of the magazine, however, goes to Hiruta and offers him a large amount of money to throw the trial so that Aoye loses. Hiruta accepts. His daughter, Masako, is ill and bed-ridden and he is scrambling for money so that he can buy her presents.

Hiruta goes out with Aoye and gets drunk shortly before the trial is over. He is shamed by the kind way both Aoye and Saijo have treated his daughter and by how his daughter is frustrated with him for losing the case. Hiruta has an epiphany and realizes that he can turn the case around. He confesses to the judge and to Aoye and Saijo. The judge disbars him but he is revered as a good man and Aoye wins the case. A happy ending for all it seems, until Masako ends up dying at the end of the movie.

Misc Info

It is rumored that Kurosawa made this film because of a rumor that had spread about he and actress Kideko Takamine. Kurosawa was known for being a very private person and the attention of the media with this rumor annoyed him to no end. Although he never stated that he made this movie strictly to get back at the media, it has long been suspected by his fans that it is precisely why he made the movie.

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