IMDb > Ballad of Narayama (1958)

Ballad of Narayama (1958) More at IMDbPro »Narayama bushikô (original title)

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Overview

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8.0/10   1,026 votes »
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Release Date:
19 June 1961 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
In Kabuki style, the film tells the story of a remote mountain village where the scarcity of food leads... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(29 articles)
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User Reviews:
Tragic tradition See more (9 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Kinuyo Tanaka ... Orin
Teiji Takahashi ... Tatsuhei
Yûko Mochizuki ... Tamayan
Danko Ichikawa ... Kesakichi
Seiji Miyaguchi ... Mata-yan
Keiko Ogasawara ... Matsu-yan
Yûnosuke Itô ... Matayan's son
Eijirô Tôno ... Messenger
Ken Mitsuda ... Teruyan

Directed by
Keisuke Kinoshita 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Shichirô Fukazawa  stories
Keisuke Kinoshita  writer

Produced by
Masaharu Kokaji .... producer
Ryuzo Otani .... producer
 
Original Music by
Chûji Kinoshita 
Matsunosuke Nozawa 
 
Cinematography by
Hiroshi Kusuda 
 
Film Editing by
Yoshi Sugihara 
 
Production Design by
Kisaku Ito 
 
Art Direction by
Chiyoo Umeda 
 
Set Decoration by
Mototsugu Komaki 
 
Costume Design by
Toshikazu Sugiyama 
 
Production Management
Kei Hamano .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yoshikazu Ôtsuki .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Genzô Furumiya .... set designer
 
Sound Department
Shûzô Horikawa .... sound mixer
Hideo Nishizaki .... sound recordist
Hisao Ôno .... sound recordist
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Takashi Akamatsu .... camera operator
Hiroshi Iijima .... lighting technician
Tôichirô Narushima .... camera operator
Ryôzô Toyoshima .... gaffer
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Narayama bushikô" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
98 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Fujicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
UK:U (2007)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The final film to be added under Roger Ebert's list of "Great Movies" before his death in 2013.See more »
Movie Connections:
Remade as The Ballad of Narayama (1983)See more »

FAQ

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Tragic tradition, 12 February 2009
Author: valadas from Portugal

This is the story of an old woman who according to customary tradition of the remote Japanese village where she lives, must be carried by his son to the top of the neighbouring Narayama mountain to meet the gods and die since she has reached 70 years of age. Behind this tradition who seems awful to our western minds, lies the fact that the community is too poor to be able to support its old people. But tradition doesn't always subjugate human feelings and if the old woman shows herself as resigned to her fate and even displays some joy in fulfilling the tradition rules, his son feels a deep sorrow in accomplishing that terrible duty and while doing it he must fight in his heart and mind to subdue those loving and compassionate feelings. The scene at the top of the mountain when he is carrying his mother and ends up by laying her on the ground where soon snow begins to fall is intensely tragic in its silence interrupted now and then by the outbursts of the powerless and extremely emotional son's revolt. All along the film we hear to the voice off of a commentator who narrates the story accompanied by a beautiful traditional Japanese music. This commentator's performance reminds us of the role of the chorus present in ancient Greek tragedies. The images make us think of the traditional Japanese paintings with their patches of neat colours making a somewhat theatrical scenery. This movie gives way to deep emotions although not exposed with our kind of western reactions but with Japanese type ones which doesn't make them appear less human.

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