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Film / Slave Widow

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Slave Widow is a 1967 film from Japan directed by Mamoru Watanabe.

Mitsuko Fuji (Noriko Tatsumi) is a young woman married to a businessman. She is left alone most of the time as their house is in the country but Mr. Fuji works in Tokyo. Mitsuko's only companion is her loyal maid Aya.

Mitsuko's world comes crashing down one day when she receives word that her husband has died of a heart attack. Things get worse when a certain Mr. Kito, a businessman so ruthless he's been nicknamed "the Devil", comes to visit and tells Mitsuko that her husband's business was a failure and her husband was drowning in debt. Kito in fact, as Mr. Fuji's main creditor, has taken over Fuji's business and assets and has come to take possession of the house that Mitsuko is living in. However, in addition to being evil Kito is also a sleazeball. He makes the lovely Mitsuko an offer: he will sign the house over to her, if she contents to be his mistress. After he rapes her, Mitsuko gives in.


There is a complicating factor, however, in the person of Kito's son Kazuhiko. Kazuhiko, who is as decent as his father is gross, is engaged to be married to Mariko, the daughter of one of Kito's business partners. This doesn't stop him from falling for Mitsuko.

This film was one of the earliest examples of the "pink film", the erotic films that became quite popular in Japan in the late 1960s. While Slave Widow has only a modest amount of nudity (it's not nearly as lurid as the English title suggests), later pink films would be much more explicit.



  • Ambiguously Bi: Implied with Mitsuko asking Aya to join her in the bath and wash her back, although it might be a matter of sheer loneliness.
  • Bathtub Scene: The first bit of Fanservice comes from when Mitsuko asks Aya to wash her back in the bath. Later we see a topless Mitsuko and Aya repeating this scene as Aya complains bitterly about how Kito takes advantage of Mitsuko.
  • Erotic Film: A young widow with no money and no possessions is forced to be the kept woman of a businessman who bought up her husband's death. Having been lonely and sexually frustrated before due to her husband neglecting her, she finds sexual fulfillment in her new relationship even while also feeling ashamed. (Although other pink films had much more nudity, this one actually has less sexual content than American films such as Basic Instinct or Sirens.)
  • Fainting: Mitsuko upon getting the news that her husband is dead.
  • Fanservice: A couple of topless scenes with Mitsuko, and a scene where Aya is washing Mitsuko in the bath. Otherwise, less nudity than one would expect from a pink film.
  • Foot Popping: From a horizontal position, as Mitsuko's foot popping during sex with Kito reveals that despite herself she's experiencing pleasure. (Later dialogue has Mitsuko admitting that while her heart recoils from Kito, her body responds to him.)
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: A fair amount of this, Slave Widow being much less explicit than other pink films.
  • How We Got Here: The first shot is an obviously distressed Mitsuko committing Suicide by Sea (or rather lake). Then the story proper starts.
  • Love Dodecahedron: There's Kito, who likes having a mistress, and Mitsuko, who doesn't like being a mistress but derives physical pleasure from the relationship. There's Kazuhiko, Kito's son, who falls for Mitsuko. And then there's Kazuhiko's fiancée Mariko who is blissfully unaware that Kazuhiko is pursuing his father's mistress.
  • The Mistress: Despite the title Mitsuko isn't a "slave" in any BDSM sense; no, she's merely a kept woman allowed to remain in her home on the understanding that she'll provide Kito with sex. He even suggests that he might marry her, although he's really just stringing her along.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The sudden death of Mitsuko's husband gets the story rolling.
  • P.O.V. Cam: A shot from Kito's perspective as he enters his office underlines his power, as everyone jumps to their feet and greets him, ending with his son.
  • Rape as Drama: Kito ends his first demand that Mitsuko be his mistress by raping her. Thereafter she gives in.
  • Significant Name: The young woman manipulated by a sleazy businessman is named "Fuji", after the mountain that's symbolic of Japan.
  • Suicide by Sea: Begins and ends with a scene of Mitsuko walking into the lake and killing herself. The ending reveals that she does so after hearing that Kito is getting married to someone else.

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