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Kwaidan (1964)
"Kaidan" (original title)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 8,574 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 68 critic

A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Kwaidan (1964)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michiyo Aratama ...
First wife (segment "Kurokami")
Misako Watanabe ...
Second Wife (segment "Kurokami")
Rentarô Mikuni ...
Husband (segment "Kurokami")
Kenjirô Ishiyama ...
Father (segment "Kurokami")
Ranko Akagi ...
Mother (segment "Kurokami")
Fumie Kitahara ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kappei Matsumoto ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Yoshiko Ieda ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Otome Tsukimiya ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kenzô Tanaka ...
(segment "Kurokami")
Kiyoshi Nakano ...
(segment "Kurokami")
...
Mi nokichi (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Keiko Kishi ...
Yuki the Snow Maiden (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Yûko Mochizuki ...
Minokichi's mother (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Kin Sugai ...
Village woman (segment "Yuki-Onna")
Edit

Storyline

This film contains four distinct, separate stories. "Black Hair": A poor samurai who divorces his true love to marry for money, but finds the marriage disastrous and returns to his old wife, only to discover something eerie about her. "The Woman in the Snow": Stranded in a snowstorm, a woodcutter meets an icy spirit in the form of a woman spares his life on the condition that he never tell anyone about her. A decade later he forgets his promise. "Hoichi the Earless": Hoichi is a blind musician, living in a monastery who sings so well that a ghostly imperial court commands him to perform the epic ballad of their death battle for them. But the ghosts are draining away his life, and the monks set out to protect him by writing a holy mantra over his body to make him invisible to the ghosts. But they've forgotten something. "In a Cup of Tea": a writer tells the story of a man who keep seeing a mysterious face reflected in his cup of tea. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tea | snow | samurai | promise | spirit | See All (250) »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Stories  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

JPY 350,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut) | (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite receiving much critical acclaim, this film received a rather cold reception from American audiences. Feedback from audiences suggested that they expected Japanese horror films to follow the model of Godzilla (1954) with fast-paced action, atomic monsters, and lots of special effects. They disliked the subtle spookiness, even-pacing, and creepy mood of this film which critics had praised. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hex (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most amazing Japanese movies I've ever seen!
28 February 2004 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Kwaidan' is an astonishing film, once seen never forgotten. It's labeled horror, but while the four stories within deal with ghosts and the supernatural, I doubt that anyone would be actually frightened watching it. Haunted, yes, scared, no. It's a beautiful movie, very stylized with a very imaginative use of colour. I can't think of anything else I've seen that comes close. Mario Bava, maybe. The movie consists of four stories. I think it's best watched as a whole to let each story blend in to the other, but if forced to choose I would say my favourite segment is the second one ('The Woman In The Snow') which I believe was left out of the version of the movie originally shown outside Japan. 'Kwaidan' is one of those rare movies that leaves you stunned the first time you see it. For me it's equal to 'Rashomon', 'Woman In The Dunes' and 'Branded To Kill' as the most amazing Japanese movies I've ever seen. Each one of these movies blew my mind. It's difficult not to gush about all four. They come with my highest recommendation. I sincerely believe that anybody who watches them will be incredibly impressed. They are all masterpieces.


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