IMDb > The Pornographers (1966)

The Pornographers (1966) More at IMDbPro »Erogotoshi-tachi yori: Jinruigaku nyûmon (original title)


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Release Date:
August 1966 (USA) See more »
Life of a pornographer who tries to stay under the radar of the mob. He has a mistress, a step-son, a step-daughter (whom he's attracted to) and a wife who believes her first husband was reincarnated as a restless carp. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
I understand its significance but can't get into it See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Shôhei Imamura 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Shôhei Imamura 
Akiyuki Nosaka  novel
Koji Numata 

Produced by
Shôhei Imamura .... producer
Jirô Tomoda .... producer
Kazuya Yamamoto .... producer
Original Music by
Toshiro Kusunoki 
Toshirô Mayuzumi 
Cinematography by
Shinsaku Himeda 
Film Editing by
Mutsuo Tanji 
Art Direction by
Hiromi Shiozawa 
Ichirô Takada 
Production Management
Shinji Soshizaki .... executive in charge of production
Kunio Takeshige .... executive in charge of production
Shôgo Usami .... executive in charge of production
Atsushi Wada .... executive in charge of production
Masanori Yamanoi .... executive in charge of production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tadahiko Isomi .... assistant director
Noboru Tanaka .... assistant director
Yoshihiro Yûki .... assistant director
Sound Department
Kenichi Benitani .... sound
Shigemasa Koyanagi .... sound recordist
Minoru Nobuoka .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Shôhei Andô .... camera operator
Katsuharu Hayakawa .... camera operator
Tomiyasu Iida .... lighting technician
Yasuo Iwaki .... gaffer
Reijirô Satô .... lighting technician
Renji Yamamoto .... camera operator
Michiaki Ôba .... lighting technician

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Erogotoshi-tachi yori: Jinruigaku nyûmon" - Japan (original title)
"The Amorists" - USA
"The Pornographers: Introduction to Anthropology" - USA (complete title)
See more »
128 min | USA:120 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

An English-subtitled print included among the opening credits the phrase, approximately, "presented by Doctors Phyllis and Eberhardt Kronhausen" - the well-known sexologists.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007)See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
I understand its significance but can't get into it, 27 November 2014
Author: mevmijaumau from Croatia

This is a black comedy about an underground pornographer who has to deal with government follies and yakuza extortionists; he's attracted to his step-daughter and lives with his wife, who's convinced that her ex- husband is reincarnated as a carp who watches her every move from the living room aquarium, and jumps out of the water when disapproving of her actions. There's also a sub-plot about an incestuous father trying to star in one of protagonist's films by having sex with his own retarded daughter. As if this onslaught of strange ideas isn't enough, the movie is directed by Shohei Imamura, whose films are usually excellent by default.

So what went wrong? Well, first, off, the movie is very boring, despite all those strange ideas. It has a simple plot, but goes on for too long and a lot of situations get repetitive and boring quickly. The narrative is very disorienting; without any exposition whatsoever, broken into short, talky vignettes which are interrupted by spontaneous flashbacks and dream sequences which end on a still image. To top it off, the movie ends up being a movie within a movie, as indicated by the beginning and the end of it. It's an interesting way of leading the plot, but is overall annoying to follow and the story gets old fast.

The Pornographers (original title actually translates to An Introduction to Anthropology Through the Pornographers) is based on Akiyuki Nosaka's novel, which is more in-depth because it apparently discusses tengu- dildos and the making of a fantasy film about the rape of Nanking. Imamura's movie is very harsh and satirical, poking fun at the aimless youth and the sleazy filmmakers who think their job is philanthropic. It has a couple of humorous scenes (and Buddhist references), but the majority of the movie isn't much engaging.

The cinematography is pretty interesting; much like the works of some other New Wave Japanese directors (most notably Teshigahara and Yoshida), Imamura's movie has a voyeuristic tone to its visuals (which is pretty fitting considering the plot) - characters are seen through keyholes, greasy windows and glass doors. The mise-en-scene is always completely cluttered, with a lot of random household objects occupying the frame. Some shots are seen through the aquarium, which serves for a nice effect here and there. Also, there are many long takes. It's really an interesting visual approach, combined with Fellini-esque oniric sequences, which work in a strange way.

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