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Sansho the Bailiff (1954) Poster

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.
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.
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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.
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In all previous versions of the tale of Zushiô and Anju that exist, Anju is depicted as Zushiô's older sister. However, for this film, the director, Kenji Mizoguchi, was so determined to cast as Anju the talented young Kyôko Kagawa - who was, in fact, considerably younger than Yoshiaki Hanayagi, who plays Zushiô - that in the film he depicted Anju as Zushiô's younger sister.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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