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Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Sanshô dayû (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1955 (USA)
In medieval 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.

Director:

Writers:

(short story "Sanshô dayû"), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tamaki
Yoshiaki Hanayagi ...
Zushiô
...
Anju
...
Sanshô dayû
Akitake Kôno ...
Taro
Masao Shimizu ...
Masauji Taira
Ken Mitsuda ...
Prime Minister Fujiwara
Kazukimi Okuni ...
Norimura
Yôko Kosono ...
Kohagi
Kimiko Tachibana ...
Namiji
...
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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, like several films by director Kenji Mizoguchi from this period, was widely praised in both Japan and the West for its smoothly flowing camera work. But these camera movements were, in fact, planned and blocked by his great cameraman, Kazuo Miyagawa, rather than by the director, who gave Miyagawa free rein in his use of the camera. See more »

Quotes

Zushiô: [quoting his father] "Without mercy, man is not a human being."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Water (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Life Without Freedom
13 December 2006 | by (Berlin, GER) – See all my reviews

With tears of emotions the word "masterpiece" begins to develop on my lips. Incapable to speak it out loud, a gentle smile surrounds my face. I am deeply blessed. (This is my immediate reaction after having finished watching "Sansho".)

In long, meditative shots, Mizoguchi fluently tells the story of two siblings who get separated from their mother and have to work for a cruel slave owner. It is an old legend of destitution and revenge, brought in pictures so beautiful, that you would want to frame each and every one of it and hang them up above your bed. Those are pictures of utter elegance, extreme subtlety and an intoxicating abstinence of brutality, of vain love and the slam of fate, which form that one condition people usually call life.

Probably the best film I have seen in 2006.


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