IMDb > Ikiru (1952)
Ikiru
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Ikiru (1952) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.3/10   35,599 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Akira Kurosawa (written by) &
Shinobu Hashimoto (written by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Ikiru on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 March 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Complex and thought-provoking masterpiece See more (147 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Takashi Shimura ... Kanji Watanabe
Shin'ichi Himori ... Kimura
Haruo Tanaka ... Sakai
Minoru Chiaki ... Noguchi
Miki Odagiri ... Toyo Odagiri, employee
Bokuzen Hidari ... Ohara
Minosuke Yamada ... Subordinate Clerk Saito
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Sub-Section Chief Ono
Makoto Kobori ... Kiichi Watanabe, Kanji's Brother
Nobuo Kaneko ... Mitsuo Watanabe, Kanji's son
Nobuo Nakamura ... Deputy Mayor
Atsushi Watanabe ... Patient
Isao Kimura ... Intern
Masao Shimizu ... Doctor
Yûnosuke Itô ... Novelist
Kumeko Urabe ... Tatsu Watanabe, Kiichi's Wife
Eiko Miyoshi ... Housewife
Noriko Honma ... Housewife
Yatsuko Tan'ami ... Bar Hostess
Kin Sugai ... Housewife
Yoshie Minami ... The Maid
Kyôko Seki ... Kazue Watanabe, Mitsuo's wife
Kusuo Abe ... City Assemblyman
Tomo'o Nagai ... Newspaperman
Seiji Miyaguchi ... Yakuza Boss
Daisuke Katô ... Yakuza
Hiroshi Hayashi ... Second Yakuza
Fuyuki Murakami ... Newspaperman
Hirayoshi Aono ... Newspaperman
Toranosuke Ogawa ... Park Section Chief
Taizô Fukami
Katao Kawasaki
Keiichirô Katsumoto
Fujio Nagahama
Akira Sera ... Worker in General Affairs
Ichirô Chiba ... Policeman
Akira Tani ... Bar Owner
Yôyô Kojima ... Worker in Sewage Section
Haruko Toyama
Mie Asô
Toshiyuki Ichimura ... Pianist
Harue Kuramoto ... Dancer
Rasa Saya ... Stripper
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Junpei Natsuki ... Hand-Washing Cancer Patient (uncredited)
Sachio Sakai ... Yakuza (uncredited)

Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Writing credits
Akira Kurosawa (written by) &
Shinobu Hashimoto (written by) &
Hideo Oguni (written by)

Produced by
Sôjirô Motoki .... producer
 
Original Music by
Fumio Hayasaka 
 
Cinematography by
Asakazu Nakai 
 
Film Editing by
Kôichi Iwashita 
 
Production Design by
Takashi Matsuyama 
 
Makeup Department
Sadako Okada .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Teruo Maki .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Teruo Maru .... assistant director
Hisanobu Marubayashi .... chief assistant director
 
Art Department
Yoshirô Muraki .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
Ichirô Minawa .... sound effects editor
Fumio Yanoguchi .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Shigeru Mori .... lighting technician
Takao Saitô .... assistant camera
Masao Soeda .... still photographer
 
Other crew
Akira Araki .... accountant
Hiromichi Horikawa .... advisor to the director
Teruyo Nogami .... script supervisor
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Living" - International (English title) (informal English title)
"To Live" - International (English title) (informal English title)
See more »
Runtime:
143 min | Sweden:123 min (cut version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:S | Germany:16 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:11 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1994) | USA:Not Rated
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
At the Berlin International Film Festival in 1954, Ikiru was awarded the Silver Bear.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the last scene with Toyo (in the restaurant with the birthday party going on), the position of the bell on the mechanical bunny changes, even though neither actor has touched the bunny.See more »
Quotes:
Kanji:I can't afford to hate people. I don't have that kind of time.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Little Children (2006)See more »
Soundtrack:
Too YoungSee more »

FAQ

What Are The English Lyrics To The Song Kanji Watanabe Sings? (+More Info.)
See more »
68 out of 77 people found the following review useful.
Complex and thought-provoking masterpiece, 16 December 2004
Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England

Ikiru is a film about life. Constantly complex and thought-provoking, although simple at the same time; it tells a story about life's limits, how we perceive life and the fact that life is short and not to be wasted. Our hero is Kanji Watanabe, the most unlikely 'hero' of all time. He works in a dreary city office, where nothing happens and it's all very meaningless. Watanabe is particularly boring, which has lead to him being nicknamed 'The Mummy' by a fellow worker. He later learns that he is dying from stomach cancer and that he only has six months to live. But Watanabe has been dead for thirty years, and now that he's learned that his life has a limit; it's time for Watanabe to escape his dreary life and finally start living. What follows is probably the most thoughtful analysis of life ever filmed.

Ikiru marks a departure for Akira Kurosawa, a man better known for his samurai films, but it's a welcome departure in my opinion. Kurosawa constantly refers to Watanabe as 'our hero' throughout the film, and at first this struck me as rather odd because, as I've mentioned, he's probably the least likely hero that Kurosawa has ever directed; but that's just it! This man is not a superhero samurai, but rather an ordinary guy that decides he doesn't want to be useless anymore. That's why he's 'our hero'. Kurosawa makes us feel for the character every moment he's on screen - we're sorry that he's wasted his life, and we're sorry that his wasted life is about to be cruelly cut short. However, despite the bleak and miserable facade that this movie gives out, there is a distinct beauty about it that shines through. The beauty emits from the way that Watanabe tries to redeem his life; because we feel for him and are with him every step of the way, it's easy to see why Watanabe acts in the way he does. Ikiru is a psychologically beautiful film.

It could be said that the fantastic first hour and a half is let down by a more politically based final third - and this is true. The movie needs it's final third in order to finish telling the story, but it really doesn't work as well as the earlier parts did. However, Kurosawa still delights us with some brilliant imagery and the shot of Watanabe on a swing is the most poetically brilliant thing that Kurosawa ever filmed. Together with the music and the rest of the film that you've seen so far; that picture that Kurosawa gives us is as moving as it is brilliant.

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Why the difference in rating between male and female? ThaWalrus9
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