Down 7,849 this week

Ugetsu (1953)
"Ugetsu monogatari" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  7 September 1954 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 13,201 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 76 critic

A fantastic tale of war, love, family and ambition set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.



(adaptation), (idea) (as Kyûchi Tsuji) , 2 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


The 25 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 13 Jan 2011
a list of 22 titles
created 14 Mar 2011
a list of 39 titles
created 26 Aug 2012
a list of 45 titles
created 10 Apr 2014
a list of 44 titles
created 13 Jun 2014

Related Items

Search for "Ugetsu" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Ugetsu (1953)

Ugetsu (1953) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ugetsu.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In mediaeval Japan a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirô Sugai
Late Spring (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka
Tokyo Story (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The personal tales of various prostitutes who occupy a Japanese brothel.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Machiko Kyô, Aiko Mimasu, Ayako Wakao
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An entomologist searching for insects by the seaside is trapped by local villagers into living with a widow whose life task is digging up sand for them. He eventually develops strong feelings for her as his hope for escape dims.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô
Harakiri (1962)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita
Ordet (1955)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

People believe in the dead Christ, but not in the living.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Preben Lerdorff Rye
A Man Escaped (1956)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must engineer an ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: François Leterrier, Charles Le Clainche, Maurice Beerblock
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost
Early Summer (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Chishû Ryû, Chikage Awashima


Cast overview, first billed only:
Machiko Kyô ...
Lady Wakasa
Mitsuko Mito ...
Eitarô Ozawa ...
Tôbee (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




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
See  »

Did You Know?


The films original title, Ugetsu Monogatari, roughly translates to "Tales of the Moon and Rain." See more »


Referenced in Gossip Girl: The Empire Strikes Jack (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The illusionary world
8 October 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

You may read elsewhere about the film's (and the filmmaker's) boundless humanism, the graceful cinematography, the classical composition; platitudes about these abound on the web, instead I want to direct your attention elsewhere.

It's a really really simple film if we analyze academically - yet, always so curiously, so amusingly, it's these academical treatises that rumble on endlessly with their dry, boring 'insights' about the mise-en-scene. But a film handled with the elegance and competence of someone who knows about more than filmmaking; who just happens to be able to express himself in film, and so can posit us inside the film in richer ways than simply cinematic.

What I mean is this: on the surface this is one of the narratives on bad karma the Japanese were so fond of sharing with themselves, an older story from the late 18th century dressed up in film material. It is about two men who sow the seeds of their own undoing by pursuing status and wealth. Civil war tears the land, they exploit this to their advantage. One of them is merely a pompous buffoon, and through cowardice he gets to be a samurai - its own comment on the privileged caste. His punishment is ordinary, a simple irony. But the other, the sadder loss of the two, is a skilled artisan; a potter who could enrich lives by giving but instead devotes himself to accumulating. It is he who is granted a supernatural, extraordinary vision to remind him how far he has strayed. Ghosts appear to redress the balance, signifiers of a troubled soul.

That's all unexceptionally fine, but for me the film's power rests elsewhere. The Japanese have given us since much better treatises on karma, Straits of Hunger and Sword of Doom from the following decade are two of them.

We may be inclined to rest our interpretation here with a passing comment on great camera-work, because all of this is more or less readily available to us, it makes some immediate sense. The closest type of film we have to this here in the West is film noir, and we have seen plenty of that already that this may even seem outdated; but noir was generally a semi-conscious product, made by artists who could feel nagging them inside the anxieties of a new life in the city but not quite put to words. So we got feverish dreams intuited from a restless sleep.

This is different. It comes from a long rich tradition of landscape painting, where the words (or images) are the expression of what has already been embodied. The painter impregnated with the outer images of everyday nature, reconstitutes reality on his scroll as the landscape of that interior heart-mind where the universe of myriad images dwells.

In other words: Hokusai did not paint Mt. Fuji because he thought it would look good, rather it looked good because he was meditating with his brush on the source of his life-world. Being able to see from inside, the result flowed out effortlessly, it floated on paper. So even though the landscapes are shown to be cascading up and down in forceful motions, our gaze is directed to the center of a profound repose that is immanent in all. The image itself is both the act of meditational devotion, and for us on the other end the space of contemplation.

So if we put Ugetsu to words it may seem pedantic, laborious. Yes, the pursuit of status and wealth is shown to be disastrous, but didn't we know already? Yes, eventually the soul is left with a lesson in humility, the acceptance of suffering and hard work - a work that unconditionally gives back, one of extraordinary humanity now. But if instead we contemplate on these notions using images the filmmaker has used to contemplate himself in painting them?

Look for the scene on a boat, we lose our characters from sight as they lose sight of themselves. Or later near the end, how the emptiness resonates when one of them sees for the first time the ruins of the illusionary world he has inhabited. It's a stunning accomplishment by a skilled artisan; we are always the Outer self, ignorant, desiring, our gaze deceived by folly like theirs, but eventually awakened when they are.

Ignore the voice-over that closes the film, it's a misstep and not a cinematic device. Allow this to sink deeper. When our potter is confronted with supernatural malice, temple bells chime in the soundtrack their reminder of Buddhist stillness in the face of mishap.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Whats up with females Yamakomi
Your recommendation for upcoming CRITERION releases groucho-marcs
The greatest film ever made HRPrognsnuf
Would I like it? elbow2332
DVD by Criterion on November 8 2005 gigimonagas
Two questions TooShortforThatGesture
Discuss Ugetsu (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: