Set in the Taishō period of Japan (dating from 1912 to 1926), Untamed follows the fiery Oshima (in a superbly eccentric performance by Takamine) as she passes from one suitor to another, a series of calamities befalling her along the way. Characteristic of Naruse's work, urban and rural settings are juxtaposed: the moody Tokyo streets against a majestic mountain village. At each point, the various situations Oshima is caught in seem uncannily bound up with her surroundings. It's worth noting that the film, while not widely known, is singled out for praise by critic Chris Fujiwara.
Sisters Jane and Penny are arrested for hitchhiking on their way to Los Angeles when they stop for a quick skinny-dip in a rural town. Local agricultural magnate Tropp is a sponsor for a local prison work program and the women get put in the cotton fields to work off their sentence. Tropp marries the middle-aged widowed judge in order to ensure a stable supply of cheap labor in order to undercut his competition. The prisoners suffer ill treatment, but the judge's son has signed on as a hired hand and begins to figure out the scam as he begins falling in love with Jane, and Penny dreams of making it big in showbiz.