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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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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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: The Empire Strikes Jack (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Geeky Randy's summary
18 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Beautifully shot tragedy about a brother and sister taken from privilege and sold into slavery, and their journey of loss, redemption and sacrifice. Rightly a classic, but is perhaps a little too quick paced for its own good; director Mizoguchi wanted to focus more on the title character and slavery, but ended up getting overruled into focusing on a broken family piecing their lives back together. There is just too much beauty in the setting and tone for a critic to pry at what might be missing. The black-and-white not only sets the mood, but is visually stunning, as if each scene is a moving photograph—particularly when the family is traveling through fields of miscanthus sinensis (Chinese silver grass).

***½ (out of four)


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