Double Feature: Nest Egg (1956), Gambler’s Luck (1966)

This screening event is part of the “Comic Legacies on the Japanese Silver Screen” film series taking place from February through April. See here for a list of screenings.

All films are screened in Japanese with English subtitles.

Second film begins at 8:35pm.

Nest Egg (へそくり社長, 1956)
directed by Yasuki Chiba
1h 23m, 35mm

This is the beginning of one of Japan’s most popular comedy film series: the “Company President” or “Shacho” Series. With corporate life becoming the center of postwar Japanese society, especially for men, the Toho studio began a series of films that lightly made fun of the company and which lasted for 14 years and 33 films. Most of them featured Morishige Hisaya playing a company president who is more concerned with playing around than working, Kobayashi Keiju the assistant who tries to keep his boss focused on business, and a regular cast of wives and business associates. As is typical of these works, the corporation is never rejected outright: in the end, the business plan always ends in success.

Gambler’s Luck (運が良けりゃ, 1966)
directed by Yoji Yamada
1h 30m, 35mm

Shochiku was Toho’s main competitor in making comedies in the 1960s and Yamada Yoji, who later made serious films like Twilight Samurai, was their lead comedy director, most famous for the “Tora-san” or “It’s Tough to be a Man” series that lasted for 48 films and became a national institution. Gambler’s Luck is a preliminary version of the Tora-san films, featuring the same combination of a corse and unruly brother with a good heart and his pure little sister. What is unique about this film is that it reflects Yamada’s love of rakugo, Japan’s traditional form of comedy, and adapts several famous rakugo stories to offer a light comedy set in the slums of old Edo.

This series is co-sponsored by The National Film Archive of Japan, Yale Film Archive, and Council on East Asian Studies, with support from the Japan Foundation.

Prints for this screening were provided by The Japan Foundation.

Event time: 
Saturday, April 13, 2024 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Humanities Quadrangle (HQ), L01 See map
320 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511