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In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
"Ai no korîda" (original title)

X  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  1 April 1977 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 11,900 users  
Reviews: 101 user | 80 critic

A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end.

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Title: In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Aoi Nakajima ...
Toku
Yasuko Matsui ...
Tagawa Inn Manager
Meika Seri ...
Matsuko (Yoshidaya maid)
Kanae Kobayashi ...
Old geisha Kikuryû
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Old Beggar
Kyôji Kokonoe ...
Teacher Ômiya
Naomi Shiraishi ...
Geisha Yaeji
Shinkichi Noda
Komikichi Hori ...
Mitsuwa Geisha
Kikuhei Matsunoya ...
Hôkan jester
Akiko Koyama ...
Mansaki Geisha
Yuriko Azuma ...
Mitsuwa Geisha
Rei Minami ...
Mitsuwa Geisha
Edit

Storyline

Based on a true story set in pre-war Japan, a man and one of his servants begin a torrid affair. Their desire becomes a sexual obsession so strong that to intensify their ardor, they forsake all, even life itself. Written by Allen Brown <browna@ohsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1 April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Realm of the Senses  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,424,906 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (2000 re-release) | (DVD) | (final)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in Japan, the undeveloped film had to be shipped to France for development, due to Japan's strict censorship policies. See more »

Quotes

Kichizo: You want to make love all the time, huh?
Sada Abe: You don't think it's wrong, do you?
Kichizo: I think it's wonderful. You're beautiful.
Sada Abe: I was afraid of not being like others. I was so worried about it, I even went to see a doctor. He said I was sensitive where sex was concerned.
Kichizo: Sensitive? I hope it's incurable. Because I adore your oversensitivity.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Censored (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Overshadowed by the pointless "art" versus "porn" debate!
16 October 2001 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Empire Of The Senses' is one of the least seen and much debated movies of the Seventies. "Least seen" because in many countries, including the one I live in, it has been banned, or only available in censored versions for many years. This movie divides people - those that like it hail it as ART, those that don't dimiss it snobbishly as PORN. Both camps are fooling themselves! 'Empire Of The Senseless' is BOTH.

Is it "serious"? Yes. Is it voyeuristic and prurient? Yes. Is it a masterpiece? Not quite. Is it worth watching? Very much so. In fact I'd say it was essential viewing for anyone interested in extreme or taboo-breaking movies.

The Seventies were the decade where the boundaries of screen sex, violence and disturbing imagery were repeatedly stretched. Peckinpah's 'Straw Dogs' and 'Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia', Bertolucci's 'Last Tango In Paris', Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver', Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange',were all milestones, and the the art movies of Herzog, Warhol, Pasolini, and Jodorowsky battled it out with the horror and exploitation of Russ Meyer, Dario Argento, John Waters,and David Cronenberg. Add to that the unexpected crossover success of 'Deep Throat' and the very existence of shockers like 'Ilse, She Wolf Of The SS' and 'Cannibal Holocaust', and what do you get? The artificial and meaningless divisions of genres, "high art" vs "trash", new ways of thinking vs new ways of making money, it was all on the table. For one brief decade it looked like a brave new world.

Then everything that was gained was lost - Spielberg and Simpson/Bruckheimer cleaned up (financially and aesthetically), and things have never been the same since. Watch 'Empire Of The Senseless' with that in mind. It may be flawed - you'll be alternatively fascinated and bored - but it is an important movie from an important period in movie history.


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