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The Lower Depths (1957)
"Donzoko" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  1 October 1957 (Japan)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,771 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 25 critic

In a Japanese slum, various residents play out their lives, dreaming of better things or settling for their lot. Among them is a man who pines for a young woman but is stymied by her deceptive family.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Isuzu Yamada ...
Osugi the Landlady
Kyôko Kagawa ...
Okayo, Osugi's Sister
Ganjirô Nakamura ...
Rokubei, Osugi's Husband
Minoru Chiaki ...
Tonosama - the former Samurai
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
The Actor
Akemi Negishi ...
Osen the Prostitute
Nijiko Kiyokawa ...
Otaki the Candy-Seller
Kôji Mitsui ...
Yoshisaburo the Gambler
Eijirô Tôno ...
Tomekichi the Tinker
Haruo Tanaka ...
Tatsu
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Asa, Tomekichi's Wife
Bokuzen Hidari ...
Kahei the Pilgrim
Atsushi Watanabe ...
Kuna
Kichijirô Ueda ...
Shimazo the Police Agent
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Storyline

Una coppia di gretti usurai gestisce uno squallido dormitorio, nei pressi di una discarica. Una folla di larve e relitti umani affolla il locale: un ex attore alcolizzato; una prostituta; un fabbro che sragiona; disoccupati ed altri ancora. In tutti c'è la ricerca della fuga dalla loro miseranda esistenza, attraverso alcool, gioco, sogni. Arriva un giorno al dormitorio un vecchio e saggio pellegrino, che porta in tutti una nota di speranza con la sua filosofia e la sua umanità. Ma il sogno dura poco : lo sconforto torna ad impadronirsi di tutti, al punto da portare l'ex attore al suicidio e gli altri a ribellarsi ai due gestori. Ispirato ad un dramma di Gorkij, il film parla della parte sconfitta dell'umanità, dei vinti, dei falliti, dei rifiutati dalla società "civile". Written by rosebud6

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1957 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Lower Depths  »

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

The rhythmic chant "Kon-kon-kon chikusho" is a parody of "kon-chiki-chin," which is itself an imitation of the rhythmic Shinto *gion-bayashi* festival music ("chikusho" is an expletive often translated "Damn it!"). See more »

Connections

Version of The Lower Depths (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Claustrophobic!
20 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I didn't know Kurosawa had even done a version of "The Lower Depths." I was very pleased with it. It took time to get the hang of all the characters. They came and went and I finally set my anchor on the landlord and his wife to help me to sort them all out. This film grows on you as you make your way from one conflict, one despairing soul to another. There are wonderful choreographed events and scenes, despite people being stuck in that one little room, in building where people hear garbage hit the roof. There is one scene in every one of Kurosawa's movies that I will always remember. I won't spoil it, but it comes at the very end. While these guys are down and out, they have so much personality and so much life; unfortunately, they have had their dreams crushed.

Yes Mifune is very good and dominates the screen, but I was equally impressed with the actor who played "Gramps." He is the wise one, the one who tries to keep it all together and make the place less of a hell on earth. He speaks with modesty and restraint and, because he has had a past, tries to prevent, especially Mifune from messing up his life.

One thing I need to get used to from watching so many of Kurosawa's movies is the wailing and screeching of the women. Is this a Japanese trait because hysterics play such a role in so many films.


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