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There Was a Father (1942)
"Chichi ariki" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  November 1982 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,081 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 22 critic

Shuhei Horikawa, a poor schoolteacher, struggles to raise his son Ryohei by himself, despite neither money nor prospects.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Shuhei Horikawa
Shûji Sano ...
Ryohei Horikawa
Shin Saburi ...
Yasutaro Kurokawa
Takeshi Sakamoto ...
Makoto Hirata
Mitsuko Mito ...
Fumiko Hirata
Masayoshi Otsuka ...
Seiichi Hirata
Shin'ichi Himori ...
Minoru Uchida
Haruhiko Tsuda ...
Ryohei as a child
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shôtarô Fujimatsu
Chiyoko Fumiya
Masao Hayama
Kanji Kawahara ...
Teacher of junior high school
Teruo Kisaragi
Shôichi Kotôda
Masami Kubota
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Storyline

A father and his son, a son and his father. Horikawa is a widower, a teacher, and a good father to Ryohei, who's about 10. After a tragedy, Horikawa resigns from teaching and takes Ryohei from Tokyo to the town of Ueno, enrolling him in junior high; to the lad's sorrow, he will be a boarder. Horikawa returns to work in Tokyo, their separation is complete. Jump ahead more than ten years: with dad's help, Ryohei has finished college and has a teaching job in Akita. Horikawa considers living with his son, which Ryohei wants, but the elder's notions of duty and hard work preclude it. Ryohei arranges a ten-day vacation with his father. Heartbreak comes quietly, nearly hidden by dignity. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dignity | duty | tragedy | teacher | widower | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

There Was a Father  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
A masterpiece from one of the absolute best
9 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There was a Father is simply an incredible film. The relationship between a father and a son. Time passes, the relationship develops over a distance, much as in The Only Son, and by the time the film ends, a deep emotional nerve has been struck without the prompting of music, without any tricks. Just character, performance and Ozus terrific framing.

There feels as if so much is left unsaid between the two protagonists, something lifelike and heartbreaking in its depiction. An improvement over the similar, also stellar The Only Son in this respect.

I have to say that of all the great filmmakers, Ozu may be the most underrated and under appreciated. I don't think he's ever made a clunky film or one where the viewer doesn't feel things went exactly the way he intended.


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