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Everything Goes Wrong

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Director  Seijun Suzuki
Country  Japan
7.2/10 IMDb

Language  Japanese
Everything Goes Wrong movie poster
Release date  October 8, 1960
Writer  Seiji Hoshikawa, Akira Ichijo (story)

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Everything Goes Wrong (すべてが狂ってる, Subete ga kurutteru, aka The Cliff and The Madness of Youth) is a 1960 Japanese Sun Tribe film directed by Seijun Suzuki and starring Tamio Kawachi and Yoshiko Yatsu in her film debut. The story follows Jirō, a rebellious high schooler, in his sadomasochistic and criminal misadventures, specifically as they relate to his girlfriend, mother and her lover. The film was produced and distributed by the Nikkatsu Company. Kinema Junpo called it an early masterpiece in Suzuki's career.


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On a hot and sweltering summer day, a gang of high school delinquents rove through an amusement park. One group member, Jirō Sugita, harasses one of the girls, which invokes an extended verbal rebuke. Jirō leaves the group and returns home where he lives with his single mother, Misayo. Misayo is the mistress of Keigo Nanbara, a business man, both of whom Jirō is constantly at odds with. Jirō gets in a fight with Nanbara, tears violently through the house, and steals some money. Another girl from the group, Toshimi Tani, has a crush on Jirō. The two start a physical relationship, but Jirō is decidedly cooler towards the affair. At Misayo's request, Nanbara lectures Jirō about his disreputable lifestyle and relationship, but is met with mockery.

The following day, Nanbara and Misayo, as well as Jirō and his friends, go to a Zushi beach resort. Jirō convinces one friend, Etsuko, to seduce Nanbara. Toshimi then leads Misayo to the bedroom where Nanbara and Etsuko are having their tryst. Jirō observes his mother's distress and is wracked with guilt. He and Toshimi steal a convertible, and speed away. Nanbara catches up with them at a rest stop and, in a struggle, Jirō brutally assaults Nanbara with a wrench, nearly killing him. The two continue their frantic battle, only to collide with a truck, dying soon afterward. A crowd swarms in around the wreck, when Misayo arrives. An observer mutters, "Everything went wrong."


In 1956, Nikkatsu Studios made three popular Sun Tribe films, a genre focused on a contemporary youth subculture noted for their affinity for beach life, jazz music and their progressive attitudes towards sex. The films met with moral public outcries and a fourth production was halted at the behest of Eirin (The Motion Picture Code of Ethics Committee). However, the genre later resurged and included Everything Goes Wrong. The film was based on the author Akira Ichijō's story High Teen Mistress (ハイティーン情婦 Hai tīn jōfu), adapted for the screen by Seiji Hoshikawa. Former fashion model Yoshiko Yatsu made her feature film debut. Hit singer Kyu Sakamoto made an appearance, performing a musical number. The film employed an improvisational jazz score and free flowing camera work in a semi-documentary style. Production was completed on September 13, 1960.


The film was released by Nikkatsu in Japan on October 8, 1960. The film journal Kinema Junpo posited that any deficiencies in the story were overshadowed by Seijun Suzuki's unique directorial style. They placed it in the Japanese New Wave and marked it an early masterpiece in Suzuki's oeuvre. In writing his book on Japanese filmmakers, Chris D. called it, "A find, and highly recommended." He noted in it common elements with Nagisa Oshima's own Sun Tribe film Cruel Story of Youth (also 1960) but found Everything Goes Wrong to be less pretentious.

Nikkatsu released Everything Goes Wrong on DVD in Japan on May 21, 2005. It included a photo gallery and the original film trailer. The release was done in conjunction with the release of three other films directed by Seijun Suzuki and in anticipation of the following year's 50th anniversary of his directorial debut.


On February 23, 2007, the Japanese label Think! Records reissued the soundtrack on Compact Disc as a part of its Cine Jazz series, which featured 1960s Nikkatsu Action film scores. The music was derived from Keitarō Miho's film score. Tracks 29 and 30 are bonus tracks.


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