Last Scene (2003)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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An elderly actor makes a belated effort to revive his career in this sentimental drama. In 1965, Ken Mihara (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is an young leading man whose career is on the rise after a series of increasingly successful movies in which he co-stars with actress Keiko Yoshino (Yumi Aso). However, that same year Ken's career is given a one-two punch -- Keiko decides to quit the business to get married, and the rise in popularity of television puts a serious dent in the sale of movie tickets. With the movie business on shaky ground, Ken's career goes into a downspin, and his reputation for professionalism is ruined after he gets into an argument with a stagehand which turns into a fist fight. After the death of his wife, Chizuru (Mayumi Wakamura), Ken vanishes from the public eye. In the year 2000, Ken (now played by Johnny Yoshinaga) quietly re-emerges; though his health is poor, he's able to land a small role in a low-budget drama playing a patient on the verge of death. However, Ken's joy to be acting again is tempered by his frustration with the soulless, assembly-line production methods which have replaced the fertile creative atmosphere he remembers. Last Scene was a change of pace for Japanese filmmaker Hideo Nakata, best known for his stylish horror films such as The Ring and Dark Water.

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actor, career, widow/widower