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

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Release Date:
30 April 1963 (USA) See more »
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 »
(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:
Beguiled See more (31 total) »


  (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 »
166 min | Japan:180 min (premiere) | Japan:265 min (extended version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
Ayako:Do you have any idea what sort of person Mr. Kameda is?
Taeko Nasu:I certainly do. I daresay I know far better than you.
Ayako:That's a lie! You couldn't possibly know.
Taeko Nasu:Why not?
Ayako:Why not? Because you only ever think of yourself. Drunk on your own misery, you don't see the grief you cause in others.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of The Idiot (1958)See more »
In the Hall of the Mountain KingSee more »


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Beguiled, 1 October 2011
Author: crossbow0106 from United States

Before watching this film, I read the 700 page novel. Obviously, Mr. Kurosawa had to omit characters and even chapters, but he has made a coherent, wonderful and even a little disturbing film about obsession. Kameda (Masayuli Mori) is given a reprieve from being shot by the Americans in Okinawa post war (a good context to begin this film, the book is set in Russia in the 1850's) and goes to relatives in Hokkaido. He sees a portrait of Taeko Nasu (Ms. Hara) and is just struck by it. He meets her and though she was about to give her answer to one man regarding marriage, she asks Kameda, a veritable stranger whom she feels knows her, to make the decision and he says no. She runs off with Akama (Mr. Mifune) and Kameda follows. Also in the mix is the young, very pretty Ayako (Yoshiko Kuga), who may instead be be throed to Kameda. The choices have to be made, but bear in mind Kameda is still beguiled by Taeko. The acting, with many actors you've seen before or since in films of the period from Japan, are all uniformly good, but no one holds a torch to Setsuko Hara's Taeko. Her role is all about expressions and emotions, and she is absolutely perfect. You see her anguish, her foreboding, her sarcasm in every scene. The beautiful Ms. Hara is just amazing in this role, as she was in so many others. If you are ambitious, read the book first and you'll see what a great job Mr. Kurosawa did in adapting and directing this film. Without reading the book, I don't think you'll like it as much but it will definitely hold your interest. Lastly, the term "The Idiot" is more about Kameda having fits (somewhat like epilepsy), not being weak of mind. One of Kurosawa's best, Setsuko Hara is phenomenal and it is an excellent adaptation to the classic novel.

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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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