IMDb > The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959/I)

The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959/I) More at IMDbPro »Ningen no jôken (original title)

Photos (See all 8 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
8.5/10   3,184 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 78% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay) &
Masaki Kobayashi (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Human Condition I: No Greater Love on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 December 1959 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A simple soldier's view of this film. See more (17 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Directed by
Masaki Kobayashi 
 
Writing credits
Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay) &
Masaki Kobayashi (screenplay)

Jumpei Gomikawa (novel) (as Junpei Gomikawa)

Produced by
Shigeru Wakatsuki .... producer
 
Original Music by
Chûji Kinoshita 
 
Cinematography by
Yoshio Miyajima 
 
Film Editing by
Keiichi Uraoka 
 
Art Direction by
Kazue Hirataka 
 
Production Management
Shigeru Wakatsuki .... production manager
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ningen no jôken" - Japan (original title)
"Human Condition I: No Greater Love" - USA (DVD title)
"The Human Condition I" - USA
See more »
Runtime:
208 min | West Germany:157 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: At one point a Japanese guard begins to whip Kao, yet the motions he makes are just a flailing of his arms, visibly missing the actor. Kao retaliates by throwing a rock at the guard, but the rock never strikes the guard. However, the actor playing the guard overreacts as if he has been struck.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Michiko:This isn't like you.
Kaji:Why?
Michiko:You're running away. Don't you want me?
Kaji:Of course I do.
Michiko:And I want you, too. Yet we can't marry-...
Kaji:How many times must I explain?
Michiko:Because you might be called up? I wouldn't care if it was the day after. Of course I'd cry. I'd cry bitterly. But happiness only lies in marrying the one you love.
Kaji:Alright. I'll take you back to my dormitory. You'll stay with me tonight. Alright?
Michiko:Yes, I'll go.
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
A simple soldier's view of this film., 12 October 2013
Author: Jacob Anon from Israel

Hello, my name's Jacob. I'm a 21 year old guy, from Israel, forced to join the army at the age of 18 as nearly all people of my country have to, forced to waste 3 years of my life doing things I'd never want to do if only I was allowed to choose. I'm not a great movie buff. I'm a simple person, and I'd rather play a video game to kill time, but I do like action and war films which is how I got to see "The human condition" on some list here on IMDb. Sounded interesting, and so I decided to watch the 3 films. So this is a review about all 3...

The films accurately demonstrates, maybe to the extreme, what it is to be a peace-loving, good human being, in a place where fascism and cruelty reigns supreme. Some people may say that Kaji's character is too unbelievable. Too saint-like, to the point where it becomes frustrating. I say it's not true- It's a movie, not real life. Kaji's behaviour might not be realistic, he faces humanity's worst traits with his own altruist ideals of pacifism and equality, as if he's some sort of WW2 superhero. Saying one cannot identify with him is wrong, however, in my humble opinion, because even if maybe you wouldn't act the way he did when put in the same situations, you can appreciate the way he handled himself, you can admire him and aspire to be like him. He isn't a saint though, he makes mistakes, born out of the cruelty and misery that surrounds him, betraying at times the "code" that he is supposed to protect and follow, but even then, you know that ultimately deep down he's the same person, no matter how things go.

Seeing many many irrational things in my military service, I can relate to Kaji in many ways. Seeing people who dedicate their lives to controlling others for the sake of getting promoted, to get appreciated by their superiors who actually appreciate them about as little as they appreciate their own soldiers. People who care for their own interests far more than they care for the interests of those they are in charge of, crushing their wants and needs and deeming them unimportant in the blink of an eye, while their own interests take much higher priority... People who enforce and follow strict rules that are unbending and unreasonable, with such a passion, that it makes you think any reasonable man would dismiss those people as insane, yet still, those are the people who are in charge, because they are the ones who stay in the army and dedicate their lives to it and to it's incredible stupidity, while the real reasonable people go on to dedicate their lives to do something that might actually be beneficial to humanity. This has now officially become somewhat of a rant of how terrible military life and discipline is, maybe more so than it is a review of this series of movies. But why I am saying all of this? because these observations of mine- they are accurately depicted in this movie. If only these real life people that I know were just trying to be a bit better, a bit more human, more like Kaji, maybe my impression of what the army is like wouldn't have been so gloomy as they are now. Kaji, in the films, tries-everywhere he goes-to set things right for those around him, he goes through so many terrible things, scenes that are so... Vile, and so distorted from what you think of human nature as it is in our usually comfortable modern life, and with sheer willpower, he triumphs, even if his triumph is just in him, staying alive while everything else is gone. But ultimately, does it do him any good? If he were to die in the first movie, would that have been better? saved him the suffering of everything he went through later? Well, that is for you to decide. What these films have taught me, is that no matter how it ends, it is important for a person to do what he sees as the right thing to do, and to never lose sight of what the right thing to do is... I'd define a good movie as one that makes you think at the end. It doesn't have to be a cool plot twist at the end that makes you think, it just has to be a movie complex enough but also engaging enough to make you think at the end, because you didn't have time to figure out everything you wanted while you were watching it. At the end of the third movie however, I didn't have to think of anything. I had already absorbed everything. All I wanted was to sleep, and just couldn't. My mind was empty, and I could feel only one thing- awe. And that is why I rate "The human condition" 10/10.

I'm terribly sorry if what you just read sounded like a bunch of drivel. Maybe this review is not for you, and maybe the movie is not for you. But regardless, I thank you for reading it to the very end. Have a nice day.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (17 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
UK release howisu2003
The Chinese spoken in this film lichtetred
DVD? ottffsse_sequence
Criterion DVD!! machinatmogsp
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer The Human Condition II: Road to Eternity Empire of the Sun Farewell My Concubine Devils on the Doorstep
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Drama section IMDb Japan section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.