Scandal (1950)

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A free-spirited artist and a famous singer are photographed together by the paparazzi who fabricate a scandalous affair to sell their paper.

Another of Akira Kurosawa’s early projects, Scandal features a typical morality message which is this time aimed at the media. The story is basically an attack on the gutter press and its insistence on invading the privacy of the famous to pander to the public’s base fascination with celebrity gossip. Being an early example of his work, he hasn’t quite honed his skills and a little too often the story veers into sentimentality and melodrama, particularly towards the end. It does have a nice light touch early on in the film though, tempering the more saccharine-soaked moments with gentle humour and Toshiro Mifune and Yoshiko Yamaguchi make a couple to rival the glamour of their Hollywood counterparts.

Not a major work, but still eminently watchable with a theme that’s clearly as relevant today as it was at the time.

6/10

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