28 user 30 critic

Twenty-Four Eyes (1954)

Nijûshi no hitomi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 15 September 1954 (Japan)
Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi forms an emotional bond with her pupils and teaches them various virtues, while at the same time worrying about their future.



(screenplay), (novel)

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ukigumo (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A tragic social drama set in post war Japan and concerns a lonely woman trying to find purpose and stability in a devastated Tokyo.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Mariko Okada
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A family of four are the sole inhabitants of a small island, where they struggle each day to irrigate their crops.

Director: Kaneto Shindô
Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Shinji Tanaka
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A kabuki theatre-inflected story about a poor village whose people have to be carried to a nearby mountain to die once they get old.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Teiji Takahashi, Yûko Mochizuki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A middle-aged bar hostess, constantly in debt, is faced with numerous social constraints and challenges posed to her by her family, customers and friends.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masayuki Mori
Nobi (1959)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In the closing days of WWII remnants of the Japanese army in Leyte are abandoned by their command and face certain starvation.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Eiji Funakoshi, Mantarô Ushio, Yoshihiro Hamaguchi
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Post war Hiroshima: It's been four years since the last time she visited her hometown. Takako faces the after effects of the A-bomb when she travels around the city to call on old friends.

Director: Kaneto Shindô
Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Osamu Takizawa, Masao Shimizu
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A girl who had left her home village for life in Tokyo returns to her home years later, and evokes a scandal when the locals discover that she's a stripper.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Shûji Sano, Chishû Ryû
Drama | Music | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the War's closing days, when a conscience-driven Japanese soldier fails to get his countrymen to surrender to overwhelming force, he adopts the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk.

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Shôji Yasui, Tatsuya Mihashi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.

Director: Sadao Yamanaka
Stars: Chôjûrô Kawarasaki, Kan'emon Nakamura, Tsuruzô Nakamura
Meshi (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Michiyo lives in the small place Osaka and is not happy with her marriage, all she does is cook and clean for her husband.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Ken Uehara, Setsuko Hara, Yukiko Shimazaki
    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
Midareru (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After a bombing raid destroys the family store and her husband, Reiko rebuilds and runs the shop out of love stopped short by destruction.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Hideko Takamine, Yûzô Kayama, Mitsuko Kusabue


Cast overview, first billed only:
Itsuo Watanabe ...
Makoto Miyagawa ...
Takeo Terashita ...
Kunio Satô ...
Hiroko Ishii ...
Yasuko Koike ...
Kaoko Kase ...
Yumiko Tanabe ...
Ikuko Kanbara ...
Hiroko Uehara ...
Hitoshi Gôko ...
Isokichi Okada - Honkô Jidai
Shirô Watanabe ...
Takeichi Takeshita - Honkô Jidai
Jun'ichi Miyagawa ...
Kichiji Tokuda - Honkô Jidai


Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi struggles to imbue her students with a positive view of the world and their place in it, despite the fact that she knows full well that most of them will die in the war. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 September 1954 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Twenty-Four Eyes  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Violence at Noon (1966) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

12 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

Nearly everyone who rated this film gave it 10/10, and it's easy to see why. This is a wonderful and bittersweet story about a teacher and her first twelve students, the "24 eyes" of the title, on a fairly remote island community. The story sweeps over about 20 years, from the students in the first grade, then the sixth, then as later teenagers, then four years later. The story begins in the late 1920s, and thus spans a turbulent time in Japanese history, which of course impacts greatly on the characters, even on a fairly isolated island.

Hideko Takamine is perhaps my favourite Japanese actress. This luminous and loveable women with the dazzling smile is a joy to behold and, playing the object of much affection from the children (though only sometimes from the adults), creates a wonderful feeling. Man, I wish I'd had her as a teacher in lower primary school.

There's a strong sense of community in this story, which is one of its strong points, but it is not always a positive thing for the characters. The older women gossip, of course, about the 'modern' new teacher, because she rides a bike and wears western clothes.

The director expertly presses all the emotional buttons of the audience. There are some people who detest this sort of thing, but I'm a sucker for it. In the hands of an expert director, and for the purposes of entertainment, there's nothing wrong with being taken on a emotional roller-coaster ride. There are some high points and many sad events in the story, which moves along at a pace which is sometimes leisurely but never dull.

This film is not free of faults. Aside from the very overt emotional manipulation, there are several tunes which are vastly overused. For instance, "auld lang syne" is played at least ten times.

Also, and most surprisingly, Hideko's range is limited. Despite two and a half hours, together with Hideko being the undisputed star, she shows only three expressions during the entire proceedings. Comparison to the superb HAPPINESS FOR US ALONE shows this clearly. In HFUA, Hideko plays a deaf-mute and uses her wonderfully expressive face to full effect.

But these are minor points, and no reason to mark it down from a perfect score. This is a must-see for anyone who loves film.

29 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page