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

 -  Drama  -  1955 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 7,978 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 62 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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Title: Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

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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

Masauji Taira: [Speaking to his son Zushio on the verge of being exiled and separated from his family] Zushio, I wonder if you'll become a stubborn man like me. You may be too young to understand, but hear me out anyway. Without mercy, man is like a beast. Even if you are hard on yourself, be merciful to others. Men are created equal. Everyone is entitled to their happiness.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An enormously powerful tale of oppression and resistance
30 November 2002 | by (Chapel Hill, NC, USA) – See all my reviews

I don't consider SANSHO DAYU to be the best introduction to the great Kenji Mizoguchi, but - after many viewings, I do consider it to be the best of what I've seen.

In the years after WWII, Mizoguchi's interest in period drama deepened

  • he ultimately was best known outside of Japan for his period dramas
(jidaigeki), though his take on the historical film was highly personalized with the introduction of contemporary thematic elements, and this film is the high water mark in that development, with a detailed story exploring oppression, class structures and societal ethics.

Late in life, Mizoguchi's interest in Buddhism also expanded tremendously, which is reflected to a great degree in this film, with various sacrifices, renunciations of privilege, and familial reconciliations figuring prominently in the intricate story - notably so at SANSHO's magnificent ending.


27 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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