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Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
"Sanshô dayû" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  1955 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 9,132 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 65 critic

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.

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(short story "Sanshô dayû"), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tamaki
Yoshiaki Hanayagi ...
Zushiô
Kyôko Kagawa ...
Anju
Eitarô Shindô ...
Sanshô dayû
Akitake Kôno ...
Taro
Masao Shimizu ...
Masauji Taira
Ken Mitsuda ...
Prime Minister Fujiwara
Kazukimi Okuni ...
Norimura
Yôko Kosono ...
Kohagi
Kimiko Tachibana ...
Namiji
Ichirô Sugai ...
Minister of Justice
Teruko Ômi ...
Nakagimi
Masahiko Kato ...
Young Zushio
Keiko Enami ...
Young Anju
Bontarô Akemi ...
Kichiji
Edit

Storyline

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. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A film of unparalleled beauty by the great Japanese Master Kenji Mizoguchi

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Legend of Bailiff Sansho  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Kenji Mizoguchi' left the composer alone to do the music. He also did that before in his previous films Ugetsu Monogatari as much as Chikamatsu Monogatari. See more »

Quotes

Taro: Even children as young as you are sold and bought, treated like animals, and nobody questions it. What a horrible world.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Littlest Warrior (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Sansho the Bailiff's cinematic story structure feels ahead of its time.
30 July 2013 | by (Suffolk, England) – See all my reviews

Sansho the Bailiff is a film that feels like it's all themes, archetypes and story structure and the content and characters are near interchangeable. However, this is a blessing and a curse. Despite being based on a traditional story, the cinematic structure feels way ahead of its time and the kind of layered stuff we see in the best contemporary cinema. It all clicks into place but I can't help but wish the characters were more well developed. It's only after the half way mark where we finally land on a protagonist to take us to the end. Nevertheless, the sorrowful emotion and the themes of oppression still poke through sharply and it's message of being an honourable man retains its power. Perhaps it's one of the ultimate films that show the protagonist winning, but at what cost. Mizoguchi is definitely a great filmmaker, his style is very controlled and cinematic, but with this and Ugetsu, I can't help but feel his films don't hit me as hard as they could do.

8/10


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