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Encyclopedia > My Geisha

My Geisha is an American film made in 1962 and directed by Jack Cardiff. It stars Yves Montand, Shirley MacLaine and Edward G. Robinson. The film was written by Norman Krasna, based on his own story of the same name. 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Jack Cardiff (born 18 September 1914) is a British cinematographer, director and photographer. ... Yves Montand Yves Montand (October 13, 1921 – November 9, 1991) was a French/Italian actor, born Ivo Livi in Monsummano Alto, Italy. ... Shirley MacLaine (born April 24, 1934) is an Academy Award-winning American actress well-known not only for her acting, but for her devotion to her belief in reincarnation. ... Edward Goldenberg Robinson (December 12, 1893 – January 26, 1973) was an American stage and film actor, of Romanian origin. ... Norman Krasna (born November 7, 1909–November 1, 1984) was an American screenwriter, playwright, and film director. ...


Paul Robaix (Montand), a famous director, wants to shoot a film in Japan inspired by Madama Butterfly. His wife, an actress named Lucy Dell (MacLaine), has been the leading lady in all of his greatest films, and she is more famous than him. He feels that she overshadows him and he would like to achieve success independent of her. By choosing to film Madame Butterfly, he can select a different leading lady without hurting her feelings, because she, as a blue eyed, red headed woman, would not be suitable to play a Japanese woman. As a surprise, she visits him in Japan while he's searching for a leading lady. To surprise him further, she disguises herself as a geisha at a dinner party, planning to unveil her identity during the meal. But she is delighted to discover that everyone at the dinner party, including her husband, believes her to be a Japanese woman. When she learns that the studio has decided to only give her husband enough funds to film the movie in black and white because there are no big stars in the film, she decides that she will audition for the role of Butterfly, without telling her husband, but that the studio will know and therefore give him the budget he needs to make the film he wants. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

She gets the part and is wonderful. He starts having feelings for her alter ego, Yoko, and wishes his wife could be more like her. She worries that he could cheat on her, even with herself...

When viewing the film's negatives, with the colors reversed, he figures out her duplicity and, thinking she is doing it to steal credit from him so that once again he will not get the artistic praise he craves, he becomes furious. To retaliate, he decides to proposition Yoko. Greatly distressed, she flees, and decides to divorce him when the film is over. Their "reunion" before the premiere is cold, Paul believing she will betry him and Lucy believing that Paul was going to sleep with Yoko. Her original plan was, at the end of the premiere, to reveal Yoko's true identity, which will astound Hollywood and practically guarantee her an Oscar. Instead, thinking of the lessons she learned from playing a geisha, she takes off her geisha makeup, appears as herself, tells everyone that Yoko went into a convent and will no longer be performing, and keeps her identity secret. She and her husband reconcile when he informs Lucy that he knew she was Yoko.

External links

My Geisha at the Internet Movie Database The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about actors, films, television shows, video games and production crew personnel. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Geisha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2166 words)
Geisha were very common in the 18th and 19th centuries; they still exist today, although their numbers are dwindling.
Male geisha (sometimes known as hōkan) gradually began to decline, and by 1800 female geisha (originally known as onna geisha, literally woman geisha) outnumbered them by three to one, and the term "geisha" came to be understood as referring to skilled female entertainers, as it does today.
While geisha engagements often include flirting and even suggestive banter (albeit codified in traditional ways), they never involve sexual activity, and a geisha is not paid for sex, though an individual geisha may choose to engage in sexual relations with one of her patrons outside the context of her role as a geisha.
JapanCorner - The Benihana Guide to Japan (878 words)
In fact, geisha are performers who are skilled in many traditional Japanese arts including nihon-buyoh (Japanese dance), music (singing accompanied by the three stringed instrument, the shamisen), sadoh (tea ceremony), ikebana (flower arrangement), shodoh (calligraphy), poetry, the art of kimono, etiquette, conversation and social graces.
Geisha therefore became an integral part of business entertainment by serving as gracious hosts at the many ryokan (inns), ryotei (restaurants) and o-chaya (teahouses) where banquet facilities were rented for this purpose.
Geisha belong to a well established association which is committed to upholding tradition and sponsors a test which maiko must pass before being promoted to the status of geisha.
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