7.4/10
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33 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
...
Kinji Kameda
...
Denkichi Akama
...
Ayako
...
Ono, Ayako's father
Chieko Higashiyama ...
Satoko, Ayako's mother
Eijirô Yanagi ...
Tohata
...
Mutsuo Kayama, the secretary
Noriko Sengoku ...
Takako
Kokuten Kôdô ...
Jumpei
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 | Romance

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Version of Nastazja (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

A Night on Bald Mountain
(uncredited)
Music by Modest Mussorgsky
Played during the ice carnival
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User Reviews

265-minute version
20 July 2004 | by (Tucson, Arizona) – See all my reviews

jonr-3 from Kansas City wonders if the 265-minute version will ever be released.

The answer is a definitive NO because every frame of unreleased footage no longer exists anywhere in any form.

It's a shame, because the film -- fascinating and electrifying as it is in its present form -- would probably have been one of the greatest examples of intertextual cinema of all time had it survived!

One can easily imagine what we're missing simply by examining the way that the initial scene on the train plays out as Mori explains his dream about nearly being executed to Mifune -- and then we are presented with a jarringly disturbing cut to a long intertitle, which basically seems to explain what was cut out by the studio execs [as do the many intertitles which follow]...

Kurosawa's hero-worship of Doestoevsky may be compared to his similar adoration of Gorky and his play "The Lower Depths" -- which is faithfully adapted in the 1957 filmic version -- and although it is much shorter than the tale told by The Idiot {sorry, couldn't resist!}, this reverence in no way makes the film boring or inferior. Just compare it to the 1936 Renoir version (which is quite good in many ways in its own right) to see how this faithfulness pays off...

Read the Doesty and then watch the film and fill in the blanks yourself. Kurosawa's filmic blueprint provides plenty of clues to how the missing footage might have been incorporated into this extremely underseen masterpiece.


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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