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Donzoko (1957) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
1 October 1957 (Japan) See more »
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 »
5 wins See more »
(22 articles)
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User Reviews:
Ugliness and kindness of everyone as a comedy See more (26 total) »


  (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

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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Lower Depths" - International (English title) (alternative title), USA (alternative title)
See more »
137 min | 125 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
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?

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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 62nd Annual Academy Awards (1990) (TV)See more »


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Ugliness and kindness of everyone as a comedy, 19 July 2007
Author: Furuya Shiro from Kumamoto, Japan

I enjoyed it. Everyone in the movie has very distinct character. I really enjoyed the superb performances of skilled actors who acted without going out from the dirty room and surrounding area.

After watching the movie, I read its original stage drama, "The Lower Depth" by Gorky. Most of the characters and the scripts are the same as the original drama. On Gorky's book, I could not help reading it with exact accent and gesture in the movie. Particularly, I can't imagine better way of speaking the pilgrimage Luke's scripts than Kahei acted by Hidari Bokuzen. I am sure the scripts of the movie are based on Nakamura Hakuyo's Japanese translation published from Iwanami. Even the Russian stage drama is adapted to completely different locale, you don't feel any awkwardness. This means perhaps, both the original drama and its adaptation are really great.

What only a movie could do is that you can enjoy subtle expression of countenance at close up. There are unforgettable performances by face, such as the moment of instant tension when the land owner, acted by Nakamura Ganjiro, and Sutekichi the thief, acted by Mifune Toshiro, stand together; or the moment the actor, acted by Fujiwara Kamatari, goes out of the house after gulping sake.

The scene of dancing with mouth instrumentation ('kuchi-syamisen in Japanese) is a great fun. Particularly I enjoyed the fat man Tsugaru dancing with sling; I found the actor is a professional sumo wrestler.

The most unforgettable personality is the old man Kahei. Can I become such a nice old man who can solace and encourage everyone around me? This movie can work out without Sutekichi the thief, but the old man. Therefore, the old man Kahei could be the lead character.

By the way, as a movie that describes the lower depth life with humor and music, I remember "Woman of Breakwater", by Philippine director Mario O'Hara. People in "Woman of Breakwater" came to live outside of the breakwater of Manila Bay. Everyone wants to flee from there, but can not. Just behind the breakwater is a park, and modern buildings. Describing the life of the poor out of the sight of the rich, it portrays mutual love among the people. "Donzoko" does not have such social viewpoint. Instead, it tries to show ugliness and kindness of everyone as a comedy.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (26 total) »

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I can't be the only one, can I? kkhitman1
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