IMDb > Hakuchi (1951)
Hakuchi
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Hakuchi (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.5/10   2,760 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:
Dark, Disturbing, Haunting and Beautiful See more (28 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
Kuninori 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:
"The Idiot" - International (English title) (literal English title), USA (alternative 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 The Idiot Returns (1999)See more »
Soundtrack:
Lady of SpainSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
23 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Dark, Disturbing, Haunting and Beautiful, 16 January 2006
Author: yippeiokiyay from United States

One of Kurosawa's least-seen films is "The Idiot". The film is set in Hokkaido, the northernmost area of Japan. Deep snow covers the earth, and is shoveled into barriers, seeps in through the ruins of a warehouse in great drifts, piles up against the windows in crescents, howls fiercely as Toshiro Mifune's character and Matsayuki Mori's "Prince Myishkin" step foot off a train into a blizzard.

Dostoevsky's great novel is the resource material.The Prince Myishkin character is Christ-like in the novel, and, as transplanted to Japan may be seen as a Boddhisatva-like character (an Avalokiteshvara or Kanon-a saint of compassion). Matsayuki Mori does an amazing job of portraying a damaged but compassionate soul..one that feels deeply the pain of those he encounters, and who speaks the truth simply, with a pure heart and an awareness of suffering. In one scene, he holds Toshiro Mifune's face between his small, gentle hands, and there is such a tender sensibility, his hands seem to communicate love and absorb the pain of Mifune's character. It is a breathtaking moment.

Toshiro Mifune is brilliantly cast as the thuggish suitor who vies with Mori for the soul of the beautiful and doomed Taeko Nasu character played with uncharacteristic drama by Setsuko Hara.

This complex, rich, layered, frightening, deeply disturbing film has been under-appreciated from the outset-beginning with the studio, which cut the film drastically (Kurosawa was outraged! *see trivia). Japanese audiences didn't understand or like the film, and other audiences have found it weird. Some of this relates directly to Donald Richie's seminal work on Kurosawa and his conclusion that "The Idiot" was a failure. Unfortunately, Richie's conclusion seems to have put replaced the nails in "The Idiot's" coffin with screws. It's very hard to pry open the film.

Sure, it is a weird film...that's what is so interesting. Kurosawa has made one of the most powerfully strange films, while stretching the range of his actors (have you ever imagined you would see Setsuko Hara like this? She's terrifying in her desperation and pain!) giving the scenes a grounded reality, and allowing us to enter into the lives of these tragic, doomed souls.

This is one of the finest films of world cinema, although one of the least-viewed.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Hakuchi (1951)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Is this in fact the most tedious piece of cinema ever created? gecko246
The ending Gusnark
Knife and fork? killingentelletilti
265 minutes version yukiya
Where to find? idene
Playing on TCM March 10 doleman
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