Walk Cheerfully

Ozu Yasujirō | 1930 | ★★★★
The dapper leader of a gang of dockside hoodlums, Kenji the Knife, takes a shine to a good and honest but decidedly poor office worker, whose meagre wage must support her, her mother, and her younger sister. However, when she discovers his disreputable ways, she turns him away, instructing him to not see her again until he proves himself respectable. Sure enough, he takes her at her word, but finds his path to respectability dotted with vengeful molls and aggrieved gang members. Luckily, a friend who decides to go straight with him helps to ease his journey. Daring and dynamic yet precise mise en scène, charismatic performances, and an irreverence of tone combine to oft delightful effect.