7.4/10
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34 user 27 critic

The Idiot (1951)

Hakuchi (original title)
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
...
...
Denkichi Akama
...
Ayako
...
Ono, Ayako's father
Chieko Higashiyama ...
Satoko, Ayako's mother
Eijirô Yanagi ...
Tohata
...
Mutsuo Kayama, the secretary
Noriko Sengoku ...
Takako
...
Jumpei
...
Karube
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Madame Kayama
Chiyoko Fumiya ...
Noriko
Mitsuyo Akashi ...
Madame Akama
Daisuke Inoue ...
Kaoru
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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 | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

30 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Idiot  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa in his autobiography describes this film - which was heavily edited from the director's original four-hour-and-twenty-six-minute version, by order of the studio, Shochiku - as "ruinous" to his career. Upon release, reviews of this film in the Japanese press were, according to Kurosawa, universally "scathing." ("It was as if [the reviews] were a mirror reflection of the studio's attitude toward me," he writes.) Not surprisingly, therefore, in the annual Kinema Junpo critics' poll for films released in 1951, The Idiot (1951) appears way down in the list, ranked at #18. Of all twenty five Japanese-language films that Kurosawa released from the end of the Second World War to the end of his career, this film is the only one that failed to place within the "Best Ten" list of films in the Kinema Junpo poll of its release year. In fact, it has been claimed that only the immense popularity of the film's star, Setsuko Hara, prevented the film from being a complete commercial disaster. See more »

Quotes

Kaoru: I don't want to talk about it. I promised you I'd keep an eye on him and tell you what he was doing. But it was too...
Ayako: Was it that awful?
Kaoru: All I know, is that I'll remember what a good man he was.
Ayako: If only we could all love as he did... without hatred. What a fool I've been. *I* was the idiot.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Idiot (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Hall of the Mountain King
(uncredited)
From "Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46"
Music by Edvard Grieg
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User Reviews

 
best of Japanese film
12 June 2005 | by (Vancouver,Canada) – See all my reviews

I've seen several Kurosawa films but this one is far and above his best. The samurai films all tend to have a unusual amount of over-acting but this modern drama based on Dostoyesky has the same fine natural acting that Ozu has. (the other great film director of the 50s and 60s Japan ) In fact the emotional intensity of this film is almost unbearable as it seems to go from one gut wrenching sequence to the next. Setsuko Hara gives perhaps her greatest performance, certainly it is more layered and has more dimension than most of the work she did with Ozu. In fact this film seems to be Kurosawa's version of "Tokyo Story" utilizing the same low intimate camera angles as that film. The story of a modern day Christlike figure will certainly have the viewer compelled to check their own spirituality and religious believes . A great movie and perhaps the greatest adaptation of a novelist as it perfectly re-creates the claustrophobic brilliance of a Dostoyevsky novel too bad Kurosawa never tackled the "Brother's Karamazov."


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