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)

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay) &
Masaki Kobayashi (screenplay) ...
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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 man with a conscience....doing a job that violates his lofty principles. See more (16 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
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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
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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
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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.
[...]
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Movie Connections:
Referenced in 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) (TV)See more »

FAQ

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
A man with a conscience....doing a job that violates his lofty principles., 21 March 2012
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

This is the first of three very long movies that are based on Jumpei Gomikawa's six-volume series. It is set during WWII and is about a Japanese man named Kaji. Kaji is a very liberal man for the times--something that COULD be very dangerous in the militaristic Japanese society. When he's called up to fight in the war, he's torn. He's basically a pacifist at heart and cannot see himself killing another. Luckily for him, his boss gives him a choice--report for military duty or go off to Japanese occupied territory to be the production head for a forced labor camp. Not surprisingly, he goes to work at the camp--and takes his new wife with him.

When he sees the camp, Kaji is angered--the soldiers brutalize the workers and have absolutely no regard for them. The camp is also rife with corruption. He insists that the beatings MUST stop and he is opposed by the staff--but he's not willing to budge and he has the authority to make it stick. Fortunately, when the workers are better few and treated well, production increases dramatically. However, when there are prison escapes, the hardliners press for a return to brutality. After all, they feel, these aren't exactly humans--just Chinese and Korean conscripts and, worse, Japanese political prisoners. What is Kaji to do? As the film progresses, to save himself he may need to forget about his high ideals. But, can he live with himself? And what about his marriage? Because of the job, he's withdrawn and miserable--and a lousy husband. I'd say more, but this would ruin the film.

Overall, an excellent film that is worth seeing. I am excited to see what happens in the second film, as at the end of the first there is a BIG twist and Kaji's world has been turned upside down in the process. My only question is could this film STILL be a bit sanitized? From what I've read about these camps, they were MUCH more brutal than even the film portrayed.

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