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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Down 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay) &
Masaki Kobayashi (screenplay) ...
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Contact:
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Release Date:
14 December 1959 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
In the World War II, the pacifist and humanist Japanese Kaji accepts to travel with his wife Michiko... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Powerful anti-war statement, with a few false notes 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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45 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
Powerful anti-war statement, with a few false notes, 9 December 2001
Author: KFL from Bloomington, IN

This film was hugely popular when it came out around 1960, reflecting the fiercely anti-war sentiment of the Japanese at the time. I have read that for a time when it came out, all three parts of The Human Condition (totaling nine and one-half hours) were shown in a single sitting at theaters in northern Tokyo, starting around 10 pm and ending in time for people to catch the trains home the next morning.

While it is a powerful film which portrays much of the suffering and brutality visited on the Chinese in Manchuria by the Japanese war machine, it is not without some rather unlikely plot twists. In particular, Kaji seems somewhat too saint-like to be believable.

It is worth mentioning that the title "The Human Condition" is perhaps misleading. The Japanese word "joken" corresponding to "condition" is not normally used in a descriptive sense, but rather, as a condition to be fulfilled or satisfied. Thus the title might be better rendered "The Condition for Being Human"--the implication being that in wartime, the conditions for remaining fully human are elusive at best.

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Criterion DVD!! machinatmogsp
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