IMDb > Woman in the Dunes (1964)
Suna no onna
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Woman in the Dunes (1964) More at IMDbPro »Suna no onna (original title)

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Woman in the Dunes -- An amateur entomologist leaves Tokyo to study an unclassified species of beetle that resides in a remote, vast desert. When he misses his bus back to civilization, he is persuaded to spend the night in the home of a young widow who lives in a hut at the bottom of a sand dune.
Woman in the Dunes -- Open-ended Trailer from Milestone


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8.5/10   10,376 votes »
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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Kôbô Abe (novel)
Kôbô Abe (screenplay)
View company contact information for Woman in the Dunes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 October 1964 (USA) See more »
The most provocative picture ever made. See more »
An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A brilliant tale of the changing Japan See more (65 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Hiroshi Teshigahara 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kôbô Abe  novel
Kôbô Abe  screenplay
Eiko Yoshida  scripter

Produced by
Kiichi Ichikawa .... producer
Tadashi Ôno .... producer
Original Music by
Tôru Takemitsu 
Cinematography by
Hiroshi Segawa 
Film Editing by
Fusako Shuzui 
Production Design by
Tôtetsu Hirakawa 
Masao Yamazaki 
Production Management
Iwao Yoshida .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masuo Ogawa .... assistant director
Sound Department
Ichirô Katô .... sound recordist
Keiji Mori .... sound effects editor
Shigenosuke Okuyama .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Mitsuo Kume .... lighting technician
Yasuhiro Yoshioka .... still photographer
Other crew
Kiyoshi Awazu .... title designer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Suna no onna" - Japan (original title)
"Woman of the Dunes" - International (English title), UK
"Woman of the Sands" - Canada (English title) (new title)
See more »
123 min | 147 min (director's cut)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:18 | Australia:M | Netherlands:12 | Netherlands:18 (1965) | Norway:15 (TV rating) | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (re-rating) (1992) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:18

Did You Know?

For this film, Hiroshi Teshigahara became the first Japanese director to be nominated for a Oscar for directing.See more »
Entomologist Niki Jumpei:Do you shovel to survive, or survive to shovel?See more »
Movie Connections:


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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
A brilliant tale of the changing Japan, 2 April 2005
Author: Atavisten from Tellus

I get more and more impressed with the classics of Japanese cinema and this is def a highlight. Mesmerizing and artsy it portrays a etymologist and 'the woman of the dunes' trapped in sand. The trap itself obviously symbolizes the trap a certain desert beetle digs to lie in the midst of it waiting for prey which cannot help but sliding into it. Its the same for him, he cant climb the sand walls, the more he struggles the more the sand runs a little like the woman who in fear of the outside continues her sisyfosan existence.

The psychology between the two is excellently depicted. The tension is intensified trough images of sweaty skin and running sand. The cinematographer is a master in filming this. Lots of black. Editing also is sharp and very well done. Sound is minimal and fits the images' bleak and deserted dunes.

Much can be said about this movie, it is one for repeated viewings for sure.

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See more (65 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Woman in the Dunes (1964)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why is this movie not on the top 250 IMDB? tcsung
Impressions... indrasnet
Entomological films eddycon
[spoiler warning 4 the thread] Why the ending is the way it is.Thoughts? delia_35
I just screened this film tonight. niktemadur
Two part question icrednagant
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