Carmen's Pure Love, aka Carmen's Innocent Love or Carmen Falls in Love, is a 1952 film directed by Keisuke Kinoshita.
It's a sequel to Kinoshita's 1951 film Carmen Comes Home. Hideko Takamine returns as Kin aka "Lily Carmen", a cheerful stripper who got her name through her specialty routine, a burlesque version of Bizet's Carmen. She has come down in the world a little bit from the previous film. Her best friend and fellow stripper Akemi got knocked up between movies, was abandoned by her faithless boyfriend, and is now struggling to care for an infant daughter. Carmen is left supporting all three of them with her work as a stripper, which is why they're living in a fleabag apartment and struggling to eat.
In fact, things are so desperate that Carmen pressures Akemi to abandon the baby. They do so, abandoning the girl on the doorstep of a rich family, but they immediately come back, retrieving Akemi's daughter and in the process meeting the rather messed up Sudo family.
Hajime Sudo is an artist, and a womanizer, who is getting pressured by his parents to marry a rich girl despite the fact that Hajime has a girlfriend who bore him a love child. Hajime's fiancée Chidori is seemingly sleeping with every man in Tokyo, much to the fury of her mother Kumako, a right-wing politician, who is running for parliament in Japan's first free elections.
Carmen foolishly falls in love with Hajime, despite the fact that he obviously has no serious interest in her. Will she suffer heartbreak again?
- As You Know: The first scene between Carmen and Akemi has a lot of this, as Carmen nags Akemi about how she fell in with the wrong man, wound up dragging Carmen to Kyushu (the southernmost of the four main Japanese "home islands"), and then left Carmen with sole breadwinning responsibility after the baby's father ran off.
- Bad Job, Worse Uniform:
- Carmen, struggling for work after she's fired from the striptease show, gets a temp job as a mascot for a rat poison called "Drop Dead Rat." She comes home humiliated and tells Akemi how she ran from young children who were mocking her.
- In the last scene, Carmen and Akemi are at Kumako's political rally, while wearing inkwell costumes and wielding enormous fake fountain pens, as part of a promotion for a fountain pen company. This sets up a silly ending where Carmen, still wearing the inkwell, whacks Akemi's boyfriend with the giant fountain pen.
- Clothing Damage: In-Universe in Carmen's burlesque act, a takeoff on, well, Carmen (complete with Bizet music) in which she gradually gets stripped as she fights with Don Jose.
- Darker and Edgier: In comparison with Carmen Comes Home at least. While the first movie was not unalloyed happiness—Carmen is forsaken by her family for being a fallen woman, and returns to Tokyo without reconciling with them—it's mostly Played for Laughs and whimsy. In this film she has fallen a couple of steps down the economic ladder and is now having to feed three people with her salary from being a stripper. Consequently they are on the edge of starvation and decide to give up the baby. There's also a great deal of pointed satire about the hypocrisy of Japanese conservative nationalists and the danger of rearmament. Finally, the fact that this movie is Deliberately Monochrome while the first one was in vivid Technicolor (in fact, Carmen Comes Home was the first Japanese film in color) helps to establish a darker mood.
- Dutch Angle: Dutch Angle: The Movie. Every single scene in the film is tilted from the vertical at some point, sometimes shifting from one side to the other like a ship in the waves. In the scene where Akemi and Carmen go back to retrieve the baby, the camera starts out tilted to one side, rights itself to vertical when the Sudo family comes out, then tilts back to the other direction when Akemi collects the child.
- Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: A sort of Failure Montage after Carmen winds up unemployed shows her doing manual labor, wearing a rat costume as a promotion for rat poison, and sitting as a beauty cream model while a saleswoman smears her face with cream for an audience.
- Finger-Forced Smile: Hajime, who is clearly bored to tears by Kumako's stump speech and also doesn't agree with her right-wing views, has to do this to fake interest as Kumako blathers.
- Fish out of Water: Carmen decides to get more ambitious than burlesque and become a real ballet dancer. The next scene shows her at a beginner's ballet class, with a bunch of little girls that look like they're about six.
- Foreshadowing: A few references throughout to Akemi's faithless (and unnamed) baby-daddy, including one scene where she wonders what he's up to. They run across him at random in the last scene, when he's heckling Kumako at her rally.
- Girls with Moustaches: Part of the characterization of Kumako as overbearing and mean and just generally awful and unpleasant, is the stubble over her lip. There's even a closeup.
- Gratuitous English: The Miss Kitty who tries to recruit Akemi into prostitution says that Akemi would only have to have one client per night. Then she says "One only!" in English, rather strongly implying that Akemi's clients would be Americans.
- Hypocrite: Kumako's speech at the end is interrupted by a heckler who mocks her for, among other things, having a daughter who's apparently the town bicycle and a prospective son-in-law who abandoned a love child. Who is the heckler? Akemi's old boyfriend, who abandoned her after knocking her up.
- Left Hanging: The movie ends with titles asking "Where is Carmen going?" and "Hang in there, Carmen!" before a closing The End card that says "End of Part Two." The promised third Carmen movie was never made.
- Meet Cute: Carmen meets Hajime when she and Akemi double back to the Sudo house to retrieve Akemi's baby.
- Miss Kitty: Akemi is approached by a cigarette-smoking madam who suggests that Akemi should come to work for her as a prostitute. Akemi seriously considers it.
- Moral Guardians: Kumako the extremely conservative politician gets extremely self-righteous about Carmen the stripper, going on and on about how ladies taking their clothes off is degrading Japanese moral values.
- Really Gets Around: Chidori sleeps around a lot, much to the consternation of her conservative mom. Chidori likes to shock her mother by talking about how she and Hajime have already had sex a lot. One morning Kumako is horrified to see two men leaving Chidori's bedroom in succession.
- Running Gag: Kumako the right-wing politician has a servant who acts like he is still in the Japanese army during the war. He always stands ramrod straight and yells his dialogue as if he is addressing a superior officer on the parade ground, and he does stuff like say "About face!" when leaving a room.
- Theiss Titillation Theory: Discussed Trope. When Carmen is deliberating on what outfit to wear, Hajime, who's kind of sleazy, says "What makes an outfit attractive is the imagined naked body underneath."