IMDb > The Life of Oharu (1952)
Saikaku ichidai onna
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The Life of Oharu (1952) More at IMDbPro »Saikaku ichidai onna (original title)

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Overview

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8.2/10   3,720 votes »
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View company contact information for The Life of Oharu on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 April 1964 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Why Did I Wait To See This? See more (23 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Kinuyo Tanaka ... Oharu
Tsukie Matsuura ... Tomo, Oharu's Mother
Ichirô Sugai ... Shinzaemon, Oharu's Father

Toshirô Mifune ... Katsunosuke
Toshiaki Konoe ... Lord Harutaka Matsudaira
Kiyoko Tsuji ... Landlady
Hisako Yamane ... Lady Matsudaira
Jûkichi Uno ... Yakichi Ogiya
Eitarô Shindô ... Kahe Sasaya
Akira Ôizumi ... Fumikichi, Sasaya's Friend
Kyôko Kusajima ... Sodegaki
Masao Shimizu ... Kikuoji
Daisuke Katô ... Tasaburo Hishiya
Toranosuke Ogawa ... Yoshioka
Hiroshi Oizumi ... Manager Bunkichi
Haruyo Ichikawa ... Lady-in-waiting Iwabashi
Yuriko Hamada ... Otsubone Yoshioka
Noriko Sengoku ... Lady-in-waiting Sakurai
Sadako Sawamura ... Owasa
Masao Mishima ... Taisaburo Hishiya
Eijirô Yanagi ... Forger
Chieko Higashiyama ... Myokai, the Old Nun

Takashi Shimura ... Old Man
Benkei Shiganoya ... Jihei

Directed by
Kenji Mizoguchi 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Saikaku Ihara  novel "Koshuku Ichidai Onna"
Kenji Mizoguchi 
Yoshikata Yoda 

Produced by
Hideo Koi .... producer
Kenji Mizoguchi .... producer
Isamu Yoshiji .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Ichirô Saitô 
 
Cinematography by
Yoshimi Hirano 
Yoshimi Kono 
 
Film Editing by
Toshio Gotô 
 
Production Design by
Hiroshi Mizutani 
 
Other crew
Isamu Yoshi .... historical consultant
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Saikaku ichidai onna" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
148 min | USA:133 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This film, which was director Kenji Mizoguchi's dream project, was severely under-financed, and the production was forced to use a warehouse instead of a regular sound stage. This warehouse happened to be located near railways, and each time a train passed by, they had to stop shooting, which made the shooting of the film even more difficult with the director's obsessive use of long, continuous, uninterrupted takes. The same warehouse was also used for Josef Von Sternberg's film 'The Saga of Anatahan'.See more »
Quotes:
Katsunosuke:Lady Oharu, a human being - no, woman - can only be happy if she marries for love. Rank and money don't mean happiness.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Flowing (1956)See more »

FAQ

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Why Did I Wait To See This?, 11 August 2006
Author: Chris Barry from Canada

I finally saw Life of Oharu at the Ontario Cinematheque in Toronto last night and what an amazing film it was.

I don't know why I held out on Mizoguchi for so long. I think it's because I watched a lot of Ozu in the day and expected more of the same heavily restrained, obliquely symbolic style which is often as alienating as it is inventive. I couldn't have been further off the mark. Mizoguchi's style is fluid and assured like Hitchcock and Bresson. He also injects a warmth of spirit and shows a genuine interest in storytelling which is often absent in much of Ozu's ouevre.

The Story of Oharu is a treatise on how women are economically exploited in a patriarchal society. This is probably one of the greatest 'women's films' ever made. It ranks above 'Breaking The Waves' and Sirk's 'Imitation of Life'. No small feat!! If you like stories that actually say something about the world in which we live, I would strongly recommend this film. It's a masterpiece of world cinema. I am definitely going to see more Mizoguchi.

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