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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 9,402 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 66 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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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' initially intended to center the film around Sansho, the Slavelord. However, the film ended up with the sad story of Zushio and Anju as its narrative, dramatic center. See more »

Quotes

Taro: [to Zushio] I found that humans have little sympathy for things that don't directly concern them. They're ruthless. Unless those hearts can be changed, the world you dream of cannot come true. If you wish to live honestly with your conscience, keep close to the Buddha.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Littlest Warrior (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Delicate woodcut prints come to life
5 June 2006 | by (Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.) – See all my reviews

"Sansho the Bailiff" (Japanese, 1954): Kenji Mizoguchi made an epic film from what was (apparently) a centuries-old Japanese morality tale. We watch a well-to-do family slowly disintegrate - not from events they cause, but those out of their control. How they each react, how they deal with the passing years and events, and how they find solutions (if any) are powerful, emotional, lessons in life. Can a half-century old Japanese film be useful to a contemporary American audience? Of course it can. Human issues of love, devotion, honor, greed, lust, hate, violence, sadness, and revenge are, if anything, in further need of consideration and dealing. To enhance these thoughts, the musical scoring is superb (I love classical Japanese music), the photography is in gorgeous black/gray/white with artful composing, the pacing is patient and more explanatory than many Japanese films (perhaps Mizoguchi had foreign audiences in mind – which I appreciate!), and I often felt like I was watching delicate woodcut prints come to life.


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