66 user 76 critic

Ugetsu (1953)

Ugetsu monogatari (original title)
Approved | | Drama, Fantasy, War | 7 September 1954 (USA)
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.



(adaptation), (idea) (as Kyûchi Tsuji) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lady Wakasa
Mitsuko Mito ...
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Tôbei (as Sakae Ozawa)
Sugisaku Aoyama ...
Old Priest
Mitsusaburô Ramon ...
Captain of Tamba Soldiers
Ryôsuke Kagawa ...
Village Master
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Shop Owner
Shôzô Nanbu ...
Shintô Priest
Kikue Môri ...
Ryûzaburô Mitsuoka ...
Ichirô Amano ...
Eigorô Onoe ...
Saburô Date ...


In the beginning of the springtime in the period of the Japanese Civil Wars of the Sixteenth Century in Lake Biwa in the Province of Omi, the family man farmer and craftsman Genjurô travels to Nagahama to sell his wares and makes a small fortune. His neighbor Tobei that is a fool man dreams on becoming a samurai, but he can not afford to buy the necessary outfit. The greedy Genjurô and Tobei work together manufacturing clay potteries, expecting to sell the pieces and enrich; however, their wives Miyage and Ohama are worried about the army of the cruel Shibata that is coming to their village and they warn their ambitious husbands. Their village is looted but the families flee and survive; Genjurô and Tobei decide to travel by boat with their wives and baby to sell the wares in a bigger town. When they meet another boat that was attacked by pirates, Genjurô decides to leave his wife and son on the bank of the river, promising to return in ten days. Genjurô, Tobei and Ohama raise a large... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tales of Ugetsu  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The stories of Akinari Ueda were not the only literary sources that the movie's scriptwriters drew upon. They also was inspired by the comic story "How He Got the Legion of Honor" by Guy de Maupassant for the subplot involving Tôbee's fanatical desire to become a samurai. See more »


After the soldier cuts off the general's head there's no blood on his sword. See more »


Edited into Origins of the 21st Century (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

20 May 1999 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I first saw this masterpiece in 1973 during a special retrospective of Japanese films on PBS hosted by the former US Ambassador to Japan, Edwin O. Reischauer. I was 18 at the time. Twenty-six years later this film still holds a special place in my heart (did you not fall in love with Machiko Kyo?). It also reminds me that Kurosawa's shadow has unfortunately obscured the works of Mizoguchi and Konichika (my apologies if I've misspelt the latter).

Before writing this comment I reviewed the voter history and was dismayed to discover that three people ranked this film 3 or less on a scale of 10. Did I miss some flaw in this film? I hope this isn't too opinionated, but if you don't love "Ugetsu" then perhaps you should avoid foreign films altogether.

22 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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