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

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Overview

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7.5/10   2,520 votes »
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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 »
User Reviews:
Fragmentary masterpiece See more (26 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
Yoichi Osugi
Keiko Izumi
Haruko Chichibu
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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
Genzo Komiya (settings)
Shohei Sekine (settings)
Ushitaro 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


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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:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Version of L'amour braque (1985)See more »
Soundtrack:
A Night on Bald MountainSee more »

FAQ

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22 out of 23 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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The ending Gusnark
Knife and fork? killingentelletilti
265 minutes version yukiya
Where to find? idene
Is this in fact the most tedious piece of cinema ever created? gecko246
Playing on TCM March 10 doleman
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