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Hakuchi (1951)

 |  Drama  |  30 April 1963 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,916 users  
Reviews: 28 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
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Jumpei (as Kuninori Kôdô)
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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere) | (extended)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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 »

Quotes

Mutsuo Kayama, the secretary: What could be so frightening about that idiot?
See more »

Connections

Version of Idiot (1910) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh How We Danced
(uncredited)
aka "The Anniversary Song"
Music by Iosif Ivanovici, arranged by Saul Chaplin, lyrics 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

 
Difficult but worth seeing
26 April 2004 | by (Kansas City, Missouri, USA) – See all my reviews

I wonder if the original 265-minute version (see "trivia") will ever be released on DVD? It seems to me that out of respect for Mr. Kurosawa, arguably the greatest filmmaker who's ever lived, it should be done if at all possible. If only I were a billionaire...

I found the film very difficult to follow, probably in part because of the extensive cutting (which is obvious in a few places), but also because, to my shame, I've never read the Dostoevski novel, though I started on it many years ago.

But the film is worth watching, despite the considerable difficulties it may pose, if only for the extraordinary--I won't say acting, but perhaps PRESENCE will do--of Toshiro Mifune, and the very fine acting by virtually all the other cast members. And of course for the magnificent visual compositions by this unsurpassable master of film, Akira Kurosawa.

And perhaps most important: for the moral tone of the film. I reverence Kurosawa not only for his amazing skill, but above all for his moral preoccupation. Without being preachy, in film after film he reminds us of the things that are really important in our lives and in our relationships with others. Very few filmmakers seem, especially nowadays, to care about that. I believe Kurosawa was a master not only of film but of life itself.


17 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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