The Actress and the Poet

Director: Mikio Naruse
Year Released: 1935
Rating: 1.0

In a close and chummy neighborhood, a failed writer lives with his wife, an actress - they run scenes together - and near them are an insurance salesman (and his spouse) and a tobacco shop owner; one day, a new couple move in and everyone's curious about their background.  While considerably more light-hearted and genteel compared to the rest of Naruse's filmography - that is, until the suicides and spousal abuse - it's also, despite its short length, meandering: the inhabitants chit-chat and ramble around (or drink to excess) and the bulk of the 'drama' only comes at the very end when the title characters fight over a vagrant living in their house.  The conclusion should send the feminists into a rage: the actress concedes the role of "Master of the House" to her doltish husband, even though she's the one financially supporting him.