Down 59,392 this week

Darkness at Noon (1956)
"Mahiru no ankoku" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  27 March 1956 (Japan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 30 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Add a Plot



(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 65 titles
created 10 Jan 2012
a list of 66 titles
created 09 Jun 2012
a list of 139 titles
created 29 Nov 2012
list image
a list of 538 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Darkness at Noon" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Darkness at Noon (1956)

Darkness at Noon (1956) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Darkness at Noon.
9 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Jack Diamond and his sickly brother arrive in prohibition New York as jewellery thieves. After a spell in jail the coldly ambitious Diamond hits on the idea of stealing from thieves himself... See full summary »

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Ray Danton, Karen Steele, Elaine Stewart
Ned Kelly (1970)
Certificate: GP Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Based on a true story, Ned Kelly is unable to support his family in the Australian outback, he turns to stealing horses in order to make money. He gets more deeply drawn into the outlaw ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Mick Jagger, Clarissa Kaye-Mason, Mark McManus
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After a long spate of bad luck, the little criminal Tony and his gang successfully rob one of Brink's security transports, taking $30,000. Surprisingly their coup doesn't make the press. ... See full summary »

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Peter Falk, Peter Boyle, Allen Garfield
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The last eighteen years in the life of Jesse James, showing his home life in Missouri, his experiences with Quantrill's raiders, his career of banditry with his brother Frank and the ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Hope Lange
Stavisky... (1974)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Irrestisible charm and talent helps Serge Alexandre alias Stavisky, small-time swindler, to make friends with even most influential members of French industrial and political elite during ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Charles Boyer, François Périer
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.

Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann
Stars: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A prostitute, sentenced to death for alleged murder, pleads her innocence.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Susan Hayward, Simon Oakland, Virginia Vincent
Swoon (1992)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks. The plot covers the months before the crime, the ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Kalin
Stars: Daniel Schlachet, Craig Chester, Ron Vawter
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Story 1 : "The Thirteenth Night". Seki turns up at her parents' house in the dead of night, where she breaks down and says she cannot continue to live with her husband, a rich man to whom ... See full summary »

Director: Tadashi Imai
Stars: Ken Mitsuda, Yatsuko Tan'ami, Akiko Tamura
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Tadashi Imai
Stars: Shimo Akiko, Hiroshi Akutagawa, Ichirô Chiba
Kiku to Isamu (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Immediately after the Second World War, sister Kiku and brother Isamu, whose mother was a prostitute and the father was a GI, live with their grandmother in the country. Because their ... See full summary »

Director: Tadashi Imai
Stars: Emiko Takahashi, Tanie Kitabayashi, George Okunoyama
Repast (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Michiyo lives in the small place Osaka and is not happy with her marriage, all she does is cook and clean for her husband.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Ken Uehara, Setsuko Hara, Yukiko Shimazaki


Credited cast:
Kôjirô Kusanagi ...
Seiji Uemura
Sachiko Hidari ...
Kaneko Nagai
Taketoshi Naitô ...
Lawyer Kondo
Chôko Iida ...
Tsuna Uemura
Teruo Matsuyama ...
Takeshi Kojima
Ichirô Sugai ...
Lawyer Yamamoto
Yoshi Katô ...
Junkichi Orimoto ...
Detective Sugita
Kyû Sazanka ...
Shinsuke Ashida ...
Tanie Kitabayashi ...
Satoe Miyazaki
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Uhei Matsumura
Sen Yano ...
Shokichi Aoki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ippei Souda


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »







Release Date:

27 March 1956 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Darkness at Noon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Movie Which Changed the Course of Japanese Legal History
22 April 2005 | by (Sacrmento , California) – See all my reviews

"Darkness at Noon" is a movie first in Japan. It was the first Japanese movie which criticized the Japanese judiciary for its verdict.

This movie is based on a real case (so-called "Yakkai Murder") which took place in Yakkai Village in western Japan in 1951. An old couple was found murdered in their home. The house was ransacked and some valuables and money were taken. The police detectives concluded that several robbers were responsible for the crime based on numerous footprints found behind the couple's home and the fact that it would have been very difficult for a single robber to have committed this particular crime. A young laborer was quickly arrested at a brothel and quickly confessed that he alone committed the crime. However, the detectives were convinced that the crime was committed by several robbers and forced out from the suspect--through physical torture--a confession alleging that four of his acquaintances were accomplices in the robbery. Based on the confession, the four acquaintances were quickly arrested. Using brutal torture--including repeated punching, kicking, beating with bamboo sticks, throwing the suspects onto the ground with judo throws, tying the suspects with rope--the police detectives made the four confess that they were responsible for the double murder robbery. However, as the investigation went on, it became more and more clear to the police that the four accomplices had solid alibis at the time of the commission of the crime. It became also clear to them that the young laborer was the sole robber and other four had nothing to do with the crime. In spite of the mounting exculpatory evidence, the police and prosecutor stubbornly stuck to their false allegation and charged the young laborer and his four innocent acquaintances with the crime. At the trial court the judges fully accepted the confession which was extracted by torture and sentenced the defendants to punishment ranging from death penalty to life imprisonment. The appellate court upheld the lower court ruling which left the four innocent men and their family in a total state of shock. The innocent man whose death sentence was upheld by the appellate court screamed in anguish at the very end of the movie: "We have the Supreme Court! WE STILL HAVE THE SUPREME COURT!!"

In the real case, the defendants appealed the verdict to the Japanese Supreme Court. The movie, which was based on a paperback book "The Judge" written by Hiroshi Masaki, one of the defense attorneys for the innocent men, was made in 1956 when the appeal of this case was pending before the Japanese Supreme Court. In the real case the Supreme Court vacated the guilty verdict of the four innocent men in 1957 and ordered the appellate court to retry the case. (Due to the secrecy surrounding the delivery within the Supreme Court, it is not clear whether the movie had anything to do with the Supreme Court decision. However, the anguish cry of "We still have the Supreme Court!" at the end of the movie was a clear cinematic appeal to the Supreme Court judges.) The appellate court acquitted the four defendants but the prosecution appealed the acquittal in 1961. (In Japan and many other countries the prosecution can appeal an acquittal.) The Supreme Court then vacated the acquittal and ordered the appellate court to retry the case once again. This time the appellate court found the four innocent men guilty and resentenced one of them to death penalty. The defendants were forced to appeal the guilty verdict to the Supreme Court again. The Supreme Court in 1968 acquitted the four defendants and did not order the appellate court to retry the case any more, thus finally ending the endless appeal seventeen years after the murder and arrest. Because of the endless appeal of the case and the agony of the innocent defendants many Japanese newspapers heavily criticized the Japanese judicial system.

This movie had a large impact in Japan in the late 1950's similar to the impact in the U.S. caused by the Hollywood classic "I Want To Live." Unlike "I Want To Live," in which the main character was already executed before the movie was made, at least one of the four innocent defendants in the Yakkai case was on death row awaiting the ruling by the Japanese Supreme Court when this movie was released. Just like the recent American documentary "Thin Blue Line" this movie led to the acquittal of innocent men. After the acquittal and release from prison, Randall Adams who was the subject of "Thin Blue Line" sued the movie producers even though his acquittal owed greatly to the movie. However, the four innocent defendants portrayed in this movie were eternally grateful to Hiroshi Masaki, the attorney who wrote the book on which this movie was based on. Masaki, a dauntless fighter, had a warm place in their heart until his death in 1975.

Until 1945 Japan was ruled by an authoritarian government with the emperor at the top of the pyramid. After the WW II defeat by the Allies, Japanese reformists with the help of U.S. occupational forces introduced a more democratic form of government. Under the air of freedom this remarkable movie was made in 1956. This movie showed the public and many journalists that it is acceptable to criticize and even ridicule the judiciary. Before the post-WW II reform any movie maker, who would have made a movie like this, would have been arrested under Japan's strict pre-war security laws. This movie was a true trailblazer in Japan.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Darkness at Noon (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: