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Tokyo Twilight (1957)
"Tôkyô boshoku" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  19 July 1972 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,511 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 20 critic

Two sisters find out the existence of their long-lost mother, but the younger cannot take the truth of being abandoned as a child.

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Title: Tokyo Twilight (1957)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Takako Numata
Ineko Arima ...
Akiko Sugiyama
...
Shukichi Sugiyama
Isuzu Yamada ...
Kisako Soma
Teiji Takahashi ...
Noburo Kawaguchi
Masami Taura ...
Kenji Kimura
Haruko Sugimura ...
Shigeko Takeuchi
...
Seki Sekiguchi
Kinzô Shin ...
Yasuo Numata
Kamatari Fujiwara ...
Gihei Shimomura, noodle vendor
Nobuo Nakamura ...
Sakae Aiba
Seiji Miyaguchi ...
Policeman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eiko Miyoshi ...
Midwife
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Storyline

Two sisters live with their father. The younger sister is embroiled in an affair and becomes pregnant. The elder sister has run away from her husband and returned with her child to her parent's home. Both sisters are astonished when their mother, long thought dead, turns up alive. The sisters are even more stunned when they learn what their mother's life has been. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

19 July 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Twilight  »

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Referenced in The Life and Works of Yasujiro Ozu (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Ozu's darkest hour, a masterpiece
13 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A deeply, uncharacteristically dark film, even among other "dark" Ozu films (i.e. A HEN IN THE WIND, EARLY SPRING) that may require a theatrical setting for the viewer to be fully absorbed in the strange, dark textures of the world Ozu presents. I myself was pretty alienated for the first 1/2 hour or so until the wintry chill of the mise-en-scene (brilliantly suggested in the slightly hunched-over postures of the characters) found its way into me instead of keeping me at arm's length. And from there this story builds in unwavering intensity as it follows a family on a slow slide into dissolution: a passive, judgmental patriarch (played by Chisyu Ryu, subverting his gently accepting persona in a way that is shocking), his elder daughter, a divorcee with a single child (Setsuko Hara, playing brilliantly against type -- who'd have thought the sweetest lady in '50s Japan had such an evil scowl?), and his younger daughter (Ineko Arima, a revelation), secretly pregnant and searching for her boyfriend, get a major shakeup when their absent mother, who the father had told them was long dead, re-enters their lives. Ozu's vision of post-war Japan and how the sins of one generation get passed on to the next, illustrated brilliantly by a series of parallels drawn sensitively between characters, manages to be both compassionate and scathing -- even a seemingly cop-out happy denouement is embedded with a poison pill. A masterpiece, without question, one that throws all of Ozu's depictions of modern society in a beautifully devastating new light.


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