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Hakuchi
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The Idiot (1951) More at IMDbPro »Hakuchi (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   3,215 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
30 April 1963 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(32 articles)
Blu-ray Review: Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru To Live Again On Criterion
 (From Twitch. 4 December 2015, 8:00 AM, PST)

Setsuko Hara, Japanese Screen Legend, Dies at 95
 (From Vulture. 25 November 2015, 6:49 PM, PST)

Daily | Setsuko Hara, 1920 – 2015
 (From Keyframe. 25 November 2015, 7:51 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Fragmentary masterpiece See more (32 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Setsuko Hara ... Taeko Nasu

Masayuki Mori ... Kinji Kameda

Toshirô Mifune ... Denkichi Akama

Yoshiko Kuga ... Ayako

Takashi Shimura ... 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
Bokuzen Hidari ... Karube
Eiko Miyoshi ... Madame Kayama
Chiyoko Fumiya ... Noriko
Mitsuyo Akashi ... Madame Akama
Daisuke Inoue ... Kaoru
Jun Yokoyama
Atsumi Nakama
Kunio Miyogi
Shôichi Kotôda
Yôichi Ôsugi (as Yoichi Osugi)
Keiko Izumi
Haruko Chichibu

Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Fyodor Dostoevsky  novel "The Idiot"
Eijirô Hisaita 
Akira Kurosawa 

Produced by
Takashi Koide .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Fumio Hayasaka 
 
Cinematography by
Toshio Ubukata 
 
Film Editing by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Production Design by
Takashi Matsuyama 
 
Set Decoration by
Genzô Komiya (settings)
Shohei Sekine (settings)
Ushitarô Shimada 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yoshitarô Nomura .... chief assistant director
 
Sound Department
Yoshisaburo Imo .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Akio Tamura .... lighting technician
 
Editorial Department
Yoshi Sugihara .... assistant editor
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hakuchi" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
166 min | Japan:180 min (premiere) | Japan:265 min (extended version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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 »
Movie Connections:
Version of L'amour braque (1985)See more »
Soundtrack:
Lady of SpainSee more »

FAQ

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29 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Fragmentary masterpiece, 22 May 2003
Author: Michael Kerpan (kerpan) from New England

Currently clocking in at a mere 2.75 hours -- following the lopping off of 100 minutes from Kurosawa's (unreleased) original version -- this barely scratches the surface of the plot of Dostoevsky's tremendous novel. Kurosawa modernizes the story and moves it from Russia in summer to Hokkaido in winter. The great Russian director Grigori Kozintsev thought this film captured the spirit of the novel remarkably well -- and who am I to disagree. I seriously wonder whether someone unfamiliar with the novel could follow this film, in its currently disjointed state -- but for those who know and love Dostoevsky's story (and characters), this film is a delight and a revelation. By and large, the actors do a remarkable job of capturing the essence of Dostoevsky's cast. I simply cannot imagine a more suitable Rogozhin (Akama in the film) than Toshiro Mifune -- especially when watching him "merely" standing in the background looking like a bomb ready to explode. Next most convincing was Chieko Higashiyama as Satoko, Ayako's mother not Takeko's as IMDB incorrectly records (Elizaveta Prokofyevna Yepanchin in the novel). This "Edith Bunker as Russian noblewoman" character has always been one of my favorite Dostoevsky creations -- and CH gets every aspect of the character right. Setsuko Hara as Taeko (Natalia Fillipovna) and Yoshiko Kuga as Ayako (Aglaya Ivanovna) are wonderful, as is Takashi Shimura as Ono, Ayako's father (General Yepanchin). Masayuki Mori as Kameda (Prince Myshkin, the eponymous hero of the tale) is hard to assess -- as the "idiot" role is hard to envision. I am not certain that he is the perfect Myshkin, but he is certainly a touching one.

Interlinked with the extraordinarily fine acting, is Kurosawa's tremendous direction here (or what's left of it). I recently also saw an otherwise fine Russian version of "Crime and Punishment", which failed to capture the richness of tone of the novel, missing every trace of any sort of humor (an essential element of the book). Kurosawa, on the other hand, managed to ricochet from melodrama to humor to tragedy without missing a beat -- sometimes within the bounds of a single shot. Frankly, I never would have thought this possible. Another interesting facet of the direction here -- this often looked more like a silent film from the 20s or 30s than a film of the 50s.

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Message Boards

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Knife and fork? killingentelletilti
Is this in fact the most tedious piece of cinema ever created? gecko246
The ending Gusnark
265 minutes version yukiya
Where to find? idene
Playing on TCM March 10 doleman
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