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The Idiot (1951)
"Hakuchi" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  30 April 1963 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,797 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
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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

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
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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 L'idiot (1946) 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

 
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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