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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 9,404 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

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 The Thin Red Line (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sansho the Bailiff: perfect execution of dramatic story-telling
21 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the second film I saw by Kenji Mizoguchi (the first one being Ugetsu). Sansho the Bailiff is a gripping and moving story of the importance of ideals and virtue in a world of misery and harshness. It captured the silver lion at Venice in 1954, along with Seven Samurai. This film is a masterpiece, and Mizoguchi is one of the greatest directors of all time. His films portray the dramatic "story" perfectly. A Mizoguchi film lets you not simply watch a narrative, but feel it and experience it as well, more so than in most other movies you'll probably watch. His most moving moments, including the ending in Sansho, as well as Ugetsu, produce moments of genuine pathos in the viewer: their is no hint of over-dramatization or sentimentality. Simply stunning.

I would this film a 9.5/10, only because Ugetsu (which I gave 10/10) is more perfect in its devastation (yes, everything is relative). Watch it, treasure every moment of it, and hope a DVD will come out in the near future.


15 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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