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Early Summer (1951)

Bakushû (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 2 August 1972 (USA)
A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Noriko Mamiya
...
Koichi Mamiya
Chikage Awashima ...
Aya Tamura
Kuniko Miyake ...
Fumiko Mamiya
Ichirô Sugai ...
Shukichi Mamiya
Chieko Higashiyama ...
Shige Mamiya
Haruko Sugimura ...
Tami Yabe
Kuniko Igawa ...
Takako
Hiroshi Nihon'yanagi ...
Kenkichi Yabe
Shûji Sano ...
Sotaro Satake
Toyo Takahashi ...
Nobu Tamura (as Toyoko Takahashi)
Seiji Miyaguchi ...
Nishiwaki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tomoka Hasebe
Kazuyo Itô ...
Mitsuko Yabe
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Old Uncle
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Storyline

In postwar Tokyo, this household is loving and serene: older parents, their 28-year-old daughter Noriko, their married son, his devoted wife, and two rascally sons. Their only discontent is Noriko's lack of a husband. Society is changing: she works, she has women friends who tease and argue, her brother sees her independence as impudence, she sees it as normal. When her boss suggests that she marry a 40-year-old bachelor who is his friend, all the members of her family press her to accept. Without seeking their advice, and to their chagrin, Noriko determines her own course of action. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 August 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Early Summer  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kenkichi Yabe mentions reading "Wheat and Soldiers', a book written by Ashihei Hino (1907 -1960) (real name: Katsunori Tamai). Hino had served as an infantryman in the Sino-Japanese war and published this book based on his experiences there. The book achieved success in Japan equivalent to that achieved by "All Quiet on the Western Front" in Germany. See more »

Connections

Followed by Tokyo Story (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

And apart from "Tokyo Story".....
18 February 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

There are few lovers of serious cinema who do not consider "Tokyo "Story" a masterpiece. I, for one, would be prepared to place it among the "top ten" of all time. When I first saw it on British TV many years ago I was excited by the discovery of a form of cinema unlike any other. In the months that followed I began to experience frustration that no other of Ozu's fairly large output was available. At long last "Ohayu" turned up. I remember thinking it very inconsequential beside "Tokyo Story" but pleasing nonetheless, possibly Ozu not so much having an off-day as a day off. What I found remarkable however was its stylistic affinity to "Tokyo", the absence of camera movement, the prefacing of each dramatic sequence, generally taking place in a domestic interior shot from near-ground level, with two or three shots, often still-life exteriors with background music carried over into the next dialogue scene; in other words a director who is completely true to his own way of seeing things, as instantly recognisable from a single shot as are composers as diverse as Martinu, Rawsthorne and Roy Harris from one bar of their music. It is only recently that I have managed to catch up with five other Ozu films, each a gem in its own way but small in scale. "Early Summer" is a typical example. It deals with the same situation as "Late Spring", that of the pressures on a young woman by her family to get married. Ozu generally explores family relationships which, although hardly dysfunctional, abound in tensions. Here we have an elderly couple living with their doctor son and their unmarried daughter, the son's wife and their two small sons completing the household. An elderly uncle visits early on and neighbours and friends, particularly those of the unmarried daughter make up the rest of the cast played by a company of stock actors that appear in many of Ozu's films. Each generation responds to life in its own way. The elderly couple are disappointed particularly with the younger members of the family. They sit on park benches or in the privacy of their bedroom and sigh that, in spite of everything, things could be much worse and they should be happy with their lot. The middle generation get on with the business of living, often in a blinkered way so that we wonder whether they are aware of the tensions they so often generate. The children are completely selfish little monsters who cut up rough if they don't get their own way, as when they mistake a wrapped loaf of bread that their father brings home, for the model railway accessories they are hoping to receive. There is little in the way of plot other than that of the "Will she? Won't she?" variety. But for the enormous expectations raised by "Tokyo Story", I might well have passed "Early Summer" by. And yet there is a uniqueness and purity of style that somehow draws me back to these simple vignettes of Japanese domestic life again and again. Ozu has often been compared to Jane Austen, but would not a more appropriate analogy be the novels of Ivy Compton-Burnett. Both are the unique minimalists of their respective arts.


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