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The Most Beautiful (1944)
"Ichiban utsukushiku" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  June 1987 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 842 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 18 critic

During World War II, the management of a war industry of optical instruments for weapons requests an effort from the workers to increase the productivity during four months. The target for ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Chief Goro Ishida
Sôji Kiyokawa ...
Soichi Yoshikawa, Chief of General Affairs Section
Ichirô Sugai ...
Ken Shinda, Chief of Labor Section
Takako Irie ...
Noriko Mizushima, dorm mother
Yôko Yaguchi ...
Tsuru Watanabe, president of women workers
Sayuri Tanima ...
Yuriko Tanimura, vice president of the women workers
Sachiko Ozaki ...
Sachiko Yamazaki
Shizuko Nishigaki ...
Fusae Nishioka
Asako Suzuki ...
Asako Suzumura
Haruko Toyama ...
Masako Koyama
Aiko Masu ...
Tokiko Hiroda
Kazuko Hitomi ...
Kazuko Futomi
Shizuko Yamada ...
Hisae Yamaguchi
Itoko Kôno ...
Sue Okabe
Toshiko Hattori ...
Toshiko Hattori
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Storyline

During World War II, the management of a war industry of optical instruments for weapons requests an effort from the workers to increase the productivity during four months. The target for male workers is an increase of 100% of the production, but the female workers, led by the dedicated Tsuru Watanabe, ask the direction to surpass their goal from 50% to 70%. During the period, the women have to overcome illness and their personal problems to complete their quota. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Most Beautifully  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa married actress 'Yoko Yaguchi' (born Kiyo Kato), who played Tsuru in "The Most Beautiful," after becoming close through many famed arguments during filming. They married on May 21, 1945 while Yaguchi was two months pregnant, and stayed together until her death in 1985. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kurosawa: The Last Emperor (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A mixed bag
14 August 2001 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

I'm with MarkDClark on this one. Perhaps I found the propaganda just too strong and overbearing. I found it hard to accept that the (male) bosses of the factory were so kind and considerate, and it was the workers that really flogged themselves to meet the new production targets.

Certainly most of the acting is terrific for this cast of mostly unknowns, although Shimura is totally wasted.

And a comment on the English title. It is pretty close to being a literal translation, but does not refer to physical beauty. The theme, according to my (Japanese) wife, is about who has the most beautiful mind i.e. who among all the workers has the most purely altruistic and patriotic nature. The lead actress achieves this "title" by working all night to cover for a sick workmate, then refusing to take the next day off to rest, AND refusing to go home when her mother dies (the same day). Given this background, "The Most Beautiful" is quite misleading as an English title.

To give this film its due, there are a number of touching scenes, and the way these girls work together, at its less intense periods, is a very pleasant camaraderie. But this feeling is is much less pleasant when the feeling is more intense and is therefore whipped-up patriotic fervour.

Also, from my point of view, the story ends at an odd point. Certainly Kurosawa ends it at the moment when the propaganda purpose is achieved, but it really doesn't work fifty years later.

There are many better Kurosawa films than this one. Don't be in too much of a hurry to see it.


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Availability? martn2420
dearest to his heart morganseer
Not a 'real' propaganda film, per se. miso5000
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