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The Burmese Harp (1956)

Biruma no tategoto (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Music, War | 28 April 1967 (USA)
In the War's closing days, when a conscience-driven Japanese soldier fails to get his countrymen to surrender to overwhelming force, he adopts the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk.

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Writers:

(novel),
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rentarô Mikuni ...
...
Jun Hamamura ...
Ito
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Kobayashi (as Takeo Naito)
Shunji Kasuga ...
Maki
Kô Nishimura ...
Baba (as Akira Nishimura)
Keishichi Nakahara ...
Takagi
Toshiaki Itô ...
Hashimoto
Hiroshi Hijikata ...
Okada
Tomio Aoki ...
Oyama
Norikatsu Hanamura ...
Nakamura
Sanpei Mine ...
Abe
Takashi Koshiba ...
Shimizu
Tomoko Tonai
Tokuhei Miyahara ...
Nagai
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Storyline

Mizushima is a soldier in the Japanese army in Burma in World War II. He's a good soldier and frequently plays his harp to entertain his fellow soldiers. When the war comes to an end, he is asked by the British to go into the mountains to try and convince a Japanese troop to surrender. Given only 30 minutes to convince them, Mizushima is unsuccessful - they would rather die with honor - and the British attack. Deeply affected by what has happened, he becomes a Buddhist monk, traveling the countryside burying the remains of Japanese soldiers. He is unable however to rejoin his brothers-in-arms. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

28 April 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Burmese Harp  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (part one) | (part two)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally slated to shoot in three-strip color, but director Kon Ichikawa worried that the huge camera might break down on location and he would not be able to have it fixed, so he shot in black-and-white. See more »

Goofs

The modern harp (with its pedal changes and its consequent ability to make changes of harmony, in particular)that is played throughout on the film's soundtrack does not match the much more basic instrument shown in the film. See more »

Quotes

Captain Inouye: The songs uplifted our spirits and sometimes our hearts.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Biruma no tategoto (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Ryoshu
("Dreaming of Home and Mother")
Written by John Pond Ordway
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Film Touches Deep, One of The Best Ever
15 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

The grainy black and white can't hide the beauty of this film. Luscious and dealing with the deepest human feelings of war and death and rebirth. This movie is one of the all time greatest ever made. If it doesn't touch your soul, you're missing out and must be numb, cause the acting and the passion and the deep feelings the whole cast puts into their roles is musical in it's beauty. The lush settings and the burmese culture stand out as a slice of history we shouldn't miss.


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