IMDb > The Lower Depths (1957)
Donzoko
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The Lower Depths (1957) More at IMDbPro »Donzoko (original title)

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Overview

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7.6/10   2,802 votes »
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Release Date:
1 October 1957 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
5 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(22 articles)
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 (From Rope Of Silicon. 22 March 2013, 12:17 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Human Heart in the Depths See more (26 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Toshirô Mifune ... Sutekichi the Thief
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
Yû Fujiki ... Unokichi
Fujitayama ... Tsugaru
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Directed by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Maxim Gorky  play "The Lower Depths"
Akira Kurosawa 
Hideo Oguni 

Produced by
Akira Kurosawa .... producer
Sôjirô Motoki .... associate producer
Tomoyuki Tanaka .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Masaru Satô 
 
Cinematography by
Kazuo Yamasaki 
 
Film Editing by
Akira Kurosawa 
 
Production Design by
Yoshirô Muraki 
 
Costume Design by
Yoshiko Samejima 
 
Makeup Department
Yoshiko Matsumoto .... hair stylist
Junjirô Yamada .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Hiroshi Nezu .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yoshimitsu Banno .... assistant director (as Yoshimitsu Sakano)
Toshi Kaneko .... assistant director
Yasuyoshi Tajitsu .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Kôichi Hamamura .... property master
Jun Sakuma .... assistant art director
 
Sound Department
Ichirô Minawa .... sound effects editor
Mimachi Norase .... chief sound assistant
Fumio Yanoguchi .... sound
Shoichi Yoshizawa .... sound assistant
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Masao Fukuda .... still photographer
Shigeru Mori .... lighting technician
Katsumi Murakami .... assistant lighting technician
Takao Saitô .... assistant camera
 
Editorial Department
Chozo Kobata .... negative cutter
 
Other crew
Mitsugu Narita .... production assistant
Teruyo Nogami .... script supervisor
Yûichi Yoshitake .... acting office
Georges Goldfayn .... french subtitles by (uncredited)
H.L. Govaers .... french subtitles by (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Donzoko" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
137 min | 125 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M (2007) | Finland:K-3 (new rating: 2001) | Finland:S (until 2001) | UK:PG | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The entire film was shot mostly in sequence and was finished in about 4 weeks.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Na dne (1952)See more »

FAQ

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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
The Human Heart in the Depths, 3 April 2006
Author: yippeiokiyay from United States

It's one of Kurosawa's most neglected masterpieces. "The Lower Depths" takes us into a ravine tenement, run by greedy, brutal landlords, and inhabited by the lowest of society's strata. All action takes place in two locations: the interior of the tenement, or the tenement grounds.

How amazing, then, is the fascination this film exerts on us, with its very modest settings. I am astonished at the creativity of the film shooting these restricted spaces, in so many varied and telling ways: space expands and contracts as is necessary to the story: the outside is either threatening or an escape, but even once outside, we see that there is no escape, and diagonals show us the human dimensions of restricted choice. Space speaks volumes in the film, accompanied by the beauty of the ensemble acting, expressing profound truths.

We find ourselves engaged in the lives of these people, and puzzled over the character of Bokuzen Hidari as the pilgrim. Is he good? If he is good, and pacifies the dispossessed by acknowledging their illusions, does it mean that self-deception is good? What wonderful ensemble acting! The director put them through long, tough rehearsals, and the result is a seamless film. No wrong notes, no overacting, just a beautiful and strange film that haunts us after we've experienced it. Such invisible, great acting, and humor and pathos.

The character of the actor is the finest piece of work by the Kurosawa veteran Kamatari Fujiwara. It is amazing that this actor appears in such diverse roles as Matahichi in "The Hidden Fortress" and as a corrupt executive in "The Bad Sleep Well". What astonishing range and depth! How brilliantly Kurosawa uses the actor's range! And, of course, we have our beloved Toshiro Mifune, laughing, kicking up his heels in devilish delight, trying to impress the girl, pouting with the landlady, listening with suspicion, then respect to the pilgrim...doing so many things so well, we are bereft when he is absent for the film's conclusion.

And what a conclusion! The harsh clappers that end the movie, the frontal shot of the gambler as he addresses us (for the only time in the film) directly, and the sudden end! Gorky...Kurosawa, Bokuzen Hidari, Toshiro Mifune, Kamatari Fujiwara and the rest....they live on in this masterpiece, for which I am very grateful.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I can't be the only one, can I? kkhitman1
Donzoko (?) what mean? albawhall
Why the very strange English subtitles? melinda2001
I HATE this movie! That's what makes it great! (?) cpt761
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