Time Machine: Tokyo Cinema in the 1960s (Part II)
TOKYO — Tokyo was a great place to go to the movies in the 1960’s. The big entertainment hubs of Ginza, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya featured big movie houses with 70 MM screens, second-run theaters that showed triple features and small art houses that ran esoteric films, it was a movie goers dream. You could gorge on cinema from all over the world.
Hollywood films were popular. Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, How To Steal a Million and My Fair Lady were enormous hits. Their star Audrey Hepburn was annually voted the most popular female actress, and Roman Holiday started a craze of short Audrey Hepburn style cuts with bangs as shown in the movie. It seemed Holiday was being brought back for repeat runs more often than any other movie of the postwar era. It trailed only the all-time repeat champion in Japan, Gone With The Wind.
Japanese women liked Hepburn because she had a slender, understated figure that was more relatable than curvy, busty bombshell Marilyn Monroe, the other Hollywood icon of the time. She exuded grace, simplicity, and dignity, setting standards for modest Japanese women to follow.