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The Most Beautiful (1944) More at IMDbPro »Ichiban utsukushiku (original title)

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Overview

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5.9/10   826 votes »
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Release Date:
June 1987 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
During World War II, the management of a war industry of optical instruments for weapons requests an... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A mixed bag See more (17 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Takashi Shimura ... 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
Emiko Rei ... Chie Shima
Haruko Mii ... Haruko Kawai
Minori Toyohara ... Minori Yoyota
Eiko Hirayama ... Yoshiko Shirayama
Harue Yamashita ... Kiyo Mishima
Mineko Mashiro ... Mineko Bando
Isuzu Miyakawa ... Shizue Miyazaki
Michiko Oikawa ... Michiko Ayukawa
Teruko Kato ... Teruko Sato
Akitake Kôno ... Fife and drum band instructor
Unpei Yokoyama ... Dormitory worker
Chieko Nakakita ... Student worker
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Koyuri Tanima ... Factory worker
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Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Akira Kurosawa 

Produced by
Motohiko Itô .... producer
Jin Usami .... producer
 
Original Music by
Seiichi Suzuki 
 
Cinematography by
Jôji Ohara 
 
Production Design by
Teruaki Abe 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hiromichi Horikawa .... assistant director
Jin Usami .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Hisashi Shimonaga .... sound effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Masaki Onuma .... lighting technician
Taizo Shin .... still photographer
 
Music Department
Hisashi Iuchi .... music producer
 
Other crew
Hisahsi Iuchi .... fife and drum band instructor
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ichiban utsukushiku" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
85 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

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

FAQ

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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
A mixed bag, 14 August 2001
Author: sharptongue from Sydney, Australia

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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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Availability? martn2420
Not a 'real' propaganda film, per se. miso5000
dearest to his heart morganseer
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