Yuzo and his fiancée Masako spend their Sunday afternoon together, trying to have a good time on just thirty-five yen. They manage to have many small adventures, especially because Masako's... See full summary »
Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Do you have any idea what sort of person Mr. Kameda is?
I certainly do. I daresay I know far better than you.
That's a lie! You couldn't possibly know.
Why not? Because you only ever think of yourself. Drunk on your own misery, you don't see the grief you cause in others.
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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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