A Wicked Woman (1958) poster
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Ranked #65253
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In 1870’s Tokyo, Den steals to support the daughter of her first marriage and her consumptive second husband. She falls in love with a young policeman but is coerced into becoming the mistress of and procurer for a vice boss. Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Norsk
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Feb 25, 1958
  • Duration: 1 hr. 14 min.
  • Score: N/A (scored by 0 users)
  • Ranked: #65253
  • Popularity: #99999
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Cast & Credits


A Wicked Woman (1958) photo


The Butterfly
3 people found this review helpful
Nov 11, 2022
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 3.5
This review may contain spoilers

Poisonous or poisoned?

This is the tale of a "poisonous" woman, you know, the kind that is independent, morally gray, and does what needs to be done to support her husband. The kind of woman who can upend society and must be dealt with before she brings a country to its knees. Oden was just such a woman. This story was very loosely based on the last woman to be beheaded in Japan. Directly after her execution they did a primitive autopsy, paying close attention to her female parts in order discern what caused her to be a deviant woman.

In this film, Oden had an ex-husband who was a degenerate gambler, an alcoholic and a womanizer. He took care of their daughter and I use that term loosely. She also had a current husband with TB who depended on her completely and yet constantly berated her for finding ways to bring home money. After a botched shoplifting job of a diamond she ended up with a Yakuza lover and a police officer lover. Of all of them, it was the officer whom she fell in love with and the one she was willing to walk away from in order to keep him from ruin.

The Yakuza forced her to bring him women for his sex slave operation. Constantly bounced between the demands and desires of the men in her life, including their violence, it was no wonder Oden wandered down a dark path. When at last she found the courage to make a break with all of them and to take her daughter away to start a new life, tragedy struck.

By the end of the movie all the main players converged in Yokohama. A police officer showed up looking for her, not the violent boss in control of her, but this dangerous woman. The young officer who had fallen in love with her had completely lost his way and his job, poisoned by her love. The sweet young girl he was supposed to marry became ensnared in the destructive drama as well. By this time Oden was ready for revenge against the men who had helped guide her to this sorry state. In a fiery, bloody climax, normalcy once again wrestled control of the situation. Oden had fought to survive in the only ways she could find available to her, was utterly failed by every man in her life, and yet she was considered the destructive poisonous force.

Wakasugi Katsuko made for a beautiful conflicted criminal. She was able to play the soft woman who wanted to help the people in her life and the heartless woman who could lead women like herself into the lair of a sadistic crime boss.

Even though Oden did some reprehensible things, her charm and allure made her a fascinating character. I suspect I saw the character through more sympathetic eyes than the director did. Instead of being a poisonous danger to society, I saw a poisonous society that had let her and her daughter down. Had her first husband cared for her and his child instead of drinking and gambling away their money she might never have turned to crime to support herself and others around her. In the case of A Wicked Woman, I found Oden to be the one poisoned, never finding the antidote or someone to save her.


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  • Movie: A Wicked Woman
  • Country: Japan
  • Release Date: Feb 25, 1958
  • Duration: 1 hr. 14 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated


  • Score: N/A (scored by 0 users)
  • Ranked: #65253
  • Popularity: #99999
  • Watchers: 20

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