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Hakuchi (1951)

 -  Drama  -  30 April 1963 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,684 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 25 critic

A Japanese veteran, driven partially mad from the war, travels to the snowy island of Kameda where he soon enters a love triangle with his best friend and a disgraced woman.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Taeko Nasu
...
Kinji Kameda
...
Denkichi Akama
...
Ayako
...
Ono, Ayako's father
Chieko Higashiyama ...
Satoko, Ayako's mother
Eijirô Yanagi ...
Tohata
Minoru Chiaki ...
Mutsuo Kayama, the secretary
Noriko Sengoku ...
Takako
Kuninori Kôdô ...
Jumpei
Bokuzen Hidari ...
Karube
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Madame Kayama
Chiyoko Fumiya ...
Noriko
Mitsuyo Akashi ...
Madame Akama
Daisuke Inoue ...
Kaoru
Edit

Storyline

Kameda, who has been in an asylum on Okinawa, travels to Hokkaido. There he becomes involved with two women, Taeko and Ayako. Taeko comes to love Kameda, but is loved in turn by Akama. When Akama realizes that he will never have Taeko, his thoughts turn to murder, and great tragedy ensues. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Idiot  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere) | (extended)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed as a two-part production running 265 minutes. Shochiku (the studio) told Akira Kurosawa that the film had to be cut in half, because it was too long; he told them, "In that case, better cut it lengthwise." The film was released truncated at 166 minutes. See more »

Connections

Version of Idiot (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh How We Danced
(uncredited)
aka "The Anniversary Song"
Written by Al Jolson and Saul Chaplin
Playing on the music box when Ayako and Kamada visit Taeko and Akama
See more »

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User Reviews

Poignant film that unfortunately suffers from heavy cutting in the first half
11 April 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It's pretty difficult to judge this film fully. The first half is erratic, and filled with jolting edits, characters that appear and disappear without any introduction. It's a damn shame. The scatological nature of this epic project, adapted from the Russian classic by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, was due to it being horrendously cut down by the studio that funded it. Originally, Akira Kurosawa had created a 266 minute cut of the - incredibly faithful to the source novel - was shortened by 100 minutes. Unfortunately, it would seem that the world may never see the original version, as even when Kurosawa hunted for the missing scenes in the vaults several decades later, he was unable to locate them.

As it is in its now 166 minute format (the longest version available), it is still an incredibly important piece of melodrama. After the devastation of the war, Kinji Kameda (Masayuki Mori) and Denkichi Akama (Toshiro Mifune), travel back to a remote island. Kameda claims that he suffers from an illness, cause by the suffering of war, and simply referred to as idiocy - when expressed on film, this idiocy seems simply to be an innocent, and fundamentally naive view of people. He simply only sees good in people, even if this is not the case. On arriving they both seem to fall for a disgraced woman, Taeko Nasu (Setsuko Hara), who was someones concubine since the age of fourteen, and is being offered for marriage at a price.

What ensues is a strange love triangle that divides not only the two male protagonists, but the community. The film is beautifully shot in black and white by Toshio Ubukata, who had worked with Kurosawa on his previous film, Scandal (1950). It is unfortunate that the films first half suffers so evidently due to extensive cutting. However, it is the relationship between Kameda and Akama that provides the climax (which is seemingly more intact) that provides the films central theme, and its most poignant elements.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


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