8.0/10
1,957
13 user 27 critic

Early Spring (1956)

Sôshun (original title)
A young man and his wife struggle within the confines of their passionless relationship while he has an extramarital romance.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chikage Awashima ...
Masako Sugiyama
Ryô Ikebe ...
Shôji Sugiyama
Teiji Takahashi ...
Taizô Aoki
Keiko Kishi ...
Chiyo Kaneko
...
Kiichi Onodera
...
Yutaka Kawai
Takako Fujino ...
Terumi Aoki
Masami Taura ...
Kôichi Kitagawa
...
Tamako Tamura
Kumeko Urabe ...
Shige Kitagawa
...
Yukiko Kawai
...
Tokichi Hattori
...
Hirayama
Daisuke Katô ...
Sakamoto
Fujio Suga ...
Tanabe
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Storyline

A young man and his wife struggle within the confines of their passionless relationship while he has an extramarital romance.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

25 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Early Spring  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Ikite wa mita keredo - Ozu Yasujirô den (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Kâtibim
, A version of (uncredited)
Turkish folk song
[Can be heard during war buddies reunion in the background]
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User Reviews

 
Question marks around the Japanese Economic Miracle
15 December 2003 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

This is the story of a married office-worker in Tokyo having an affair with a typist from the office, but do not expect a movie about illicit love and overwhelming passion. For Ozu, the story of the affair serves only as a framework for a portrayal of the life of ordinary white-collar workers. And what a bleak portrayal it is! In Ozu's vision, to be an office-worker means going through a mind-numbing routine every day for little pay, waiting on a promotion that may never come until you leave empty handed on the day of your retirement, and should the rumor spread that you're bonking your stenographer, you risk being banished to the Japanese equivalent of Siberia.

So all-encompassing is the grip of the corporation on the characters in this movie that events such as pregnancy and death are almost exclusively discussed in terms of money earned and time clocked. Even the affair itself seems less motivated by desire as by a need to alleviate the drudgery.

While this examination of working life is, at 143 minutes runtime, just a tad too long and never reaches the emotional depth found in Kurosawa's Ikiru, another movie about an ordinary guy stuck in a meaningless job, it's nevertheless interesting to see that compared to Kurosawa's movie, Ozu, often considered the most conservative of great Japanese filmmakers, has made a much more overt and damning criticism on the Japanese work-ethic.

***


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