MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 4,952 this week

I Was Born, But... (1932)
"Otona no miru ehon - Umarete wa mita keredo" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  3 June 1932 (Japan)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,402 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 19 user | 37 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

Two young brothers become the leaders of a gang of kids in their neighborhood. Their father is an office clerk who tries for advancement by playing up his boss. When the boys visit the boss... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(scenario), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 24 Oct 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 13 Jan 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 11 Mar 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: I Was Born, But... (1932)

I Was Born, But... (1932) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of I Was Born, But....
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Grand Hotel I (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford
Late Autumn (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A widow tries to marry off her daughter with the help of her late husband's three friends.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Yôko Tsukasa, Mariko Okada
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A businessman clashes with his elder daughter over her choice of a husband.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Shin Saburi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Ineko Arima
Tokyo Chorus (1931)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A married Tokyo man faces unemployment after standing up for an older colleague.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Tokihiko Okada, Emiko Yagumo, Hideo Sugawara
Fanny (1932)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Marius has left, signed up for a five year hitch on a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. In his few letters to his father César, he hardly mentions Fanny. When she finds she is pregnant, she ... See full summary »

Director: Marc Allégret
Stars: Raimu, Pierre Fresnay, Fernand Charpin
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Juno (2007)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual decision regarding her unborn child.

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner
Il Sorpasso (1962)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Roberto, a shy law student in Rome, meets Bruno, a forty-year-old exuberant, capricious man, who takes him for a drive through the Roman and Tuscany countries in the summer of 1962. They ... See full summary »

Director: Dino Risi
Stars: Vittorio Gassman, Catherine Spaak, Jean-Louis Trintignant
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An undertaker gets married to an old executioner's daughter and, although he doesn't like it, must continue the profession of his father-in-law after his retirement.

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Stars: Nino Manfredi, Emma Penella, José Isbert
I Vitelloni (1953)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A character study of five young men at crucial turning points in their lives in a small town in Italy.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When Polly Fisher, a circus aerialist, is hurt while performing, she is taken to the house of a nearby minister, John Hartley. As she recuperates, they fall in love with each other and ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred Santell
Stars: Marion Davies, Clark Gable, C. Aubrey Smith
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuo Saitô ...
Chichi
Tomio Aoki ...
Keiji (as Tokkan-Kozou)
Mitsuko Yoshikawa ...
Haha (Yoshi's Wife)
Hideo Sugawara ...
Ryoichi
Takeshi Sakamoto ...
Juuyaku (Iwasaki, Executive)
Teruyo Hayami ...
Fujin (Iwasaki's wife)
Seiichi Kato ...
Kodomo (Taro)
Shoichi Kofujita ...
Kozou (Delivery boy)
Seiji Nishimura ...
Sensei (Teacher)
Zentaro Iijima ...
Asobi nakama (Friend)
Shôtarô Fujimatsu ...
Asobi nakama (Friend)
Masao Hayama ...
Asobi nakama (Friend)
Michio Sato ...
Asobi nakama (Friend)
Kuniyasu Hayashi ...
Asobi nakama (Friend)
Akio Nomura ...
Asobi nakama (Friend)
Edit

Storyline

Two young brothers become the leaders of a gang of kids in their neighborhood. Their father is an office clerk who tries for advancement by playing up his boss. When the boys visit the boss' house with their father, they discover that their dad has been making a fool of himself to please his boss, who's son is an outwitted member of the boys' gang. The brothers' revolt claiming that hierarchy should be based on ability, not on social background. Ozu's charming film is a social satire that draws from the antics of childhood as well as the tragedy of maturity. Written by Peter Renoir Nakai

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boss | neighborhood | gang | boy | middle class | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

3 June 1932 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Children of Tokyo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in The Life and Works of Yasujiro Ozu (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Funny, charming and lots more
16 March 2003 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

To say that I Was Born, But…is funny and charming is like saying The Godfather is a crime drama. It is that but much more. Featuring outstanding child performances, this silent film by the great Yasijiro Ozu is both a satire on the rigid structure of Japanese society and a coming-of-age story about children learning to live in a less than perfect world. It is an enduring masterpiece that has maintained its universal appeal over the years.

In the film, eight-year old Keichi (Tomio Aoki) and his ten-year old brother Ryoichi (Hideo Sugawara) come to live in a small town in the suburbs of Tokyo after their father, Mr. Yoshii (Tatsuo Saito), an office clerk, receives a promotion. The transition to the suburbs, however, is not smooth. Neighborhood bullies taunt the boys, but they soon gain the upper hand with the help of a delivery boy (Shoichi Kojufita) who sends the main bully home crying. One of the neighborhood boys is Taro (Kato), the son of their father's employer Mr. Iwasaki (Takeshi Sakamoto) who seems to always be dressed in a black suit, befitting his station in life. The boys' behavior mirrors the adults with their games and power strategies including the very funny "resurrection" ritual.

The two boys' are in awe of their father and consider him great; however, their loyalty is tested when they see him clowning and acting like a buffoon in front of his employer while watching home movies at Iwasaki's home. Mr. Yoshii explains later that as Iwasaki owns the company where he works, he has to treat him with respect. In disgust the boys ask if they will have to bow to their friend Taro, the boss's son, when he grows up. Resentful after a spanking and dissatisfied with the answers they have received to their questions, they go on a hunger strike but it is short lived. After the father talks with them about the meaning of being an employee, everyone learns something about the realities of life.

Ozu seems to endorse acceptance of the status quo but, on reflection, it seems he is merely making observations rather than judgments. He is critical of the father for kowtowing to his employer, yet also sympathetic with the realities the family must face. The children have lost their innocence and must accept the fact that life isn't fair, but they also see that happiness can be achieved by rising above their prescribed status. Sadly, many of the boys shown in the movie had to fight and die in a bloody war only ten years later, in part a consequence of the rigid social structure Ozu satirized in the film.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD? xbhaskarx
Music recommendations Sanjuro-15
Anybody speak Japanese? ericrahn
Discuss I Was Born, But... (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?