7.7/10
832
9 user 13 critic

Boy (1969)

Shônen (original title)
A young boy reluctantly aids his swindling father in a threatening scam.

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay)
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Ceremony (1971)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Upon receiving a shocking telegram from his cousin, a man recounts his early life, as a member of a broad family full of dark secrets that slowly reveal themselves through the clan ceremonies.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Kenzô Kawarasaki, Atsuko Kaku, Atsuo Nakamura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man runs a scam selling pigeons that always return to his home. A rich girl takes an interest in him and tries to help him find a good job.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Fumio Watanabe, Yuki Tominaga, Kakuko Chino
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Korean man is sentenced to death by hanging, but he survives the execution. For the following two hours, his executioners try to work out how to handle the situation in this black farce.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Kei Satô, Fumio Watanabe, Toshirô Ishidô
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A metaphysical mystery involving a university student's camera getting stolen, and the thief then committing suicide. Looking back upon the event, the situation comes to be questioned if it happened at all.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Kazuo Goto, Sukio Fukuoka, Kenichi Fukuda
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two young women must come to terms with the fact that a man they're deeply linked to is a murdering rapist.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Hideo Kanze, Hideko Kawaguchi, Saeda Kawaguchi
Naked Youth (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Kiyoshi is a brooding young man who treats women solely as objects. Makoto is a young woman who is just reaching her sexual awakening. She and her friends accept car rides from middle aged ... See full summary »

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Miyuki Kuwano, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yoshiko Kuga
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A carefree afternoon at the beach turns into a comic misadventure when three young Japanese men are mistaken for illegal Korean residents.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Kazuhiko Kato, Osamu Kitayama, Norihiko Hashida
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Osaka's slum, youth without futures engage in pilfering, assault and robbery, prostitution, and the buying and selling of identity cards and of blood. Alliances constantly shift. Tatsu ... See full summary »

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Masahiko Tsugawa, Kayoko Honoo, Isao Sasaki
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Over the course of a night, a sex-obsessed young woman, a suicidal man, and a gun-crazy wannabe gangster are taken prisoner of a gang awaiting a shootout between a rival gang at dawn.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Keiko Sakurai, Kei Satô, Tetsuo Ashida
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Four high school students preparing for their university entrance exam fantasize about a classmate, and meet up with thier inebriated teacher, while singing bawdy drinking songs.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Ichirô Araki, Kazuko Tajima, Jûzô Itami
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Story of a bookstore thief named Birdey who is led through various adventures in Tokyo's Shinjuku district by salesgirl Umeko.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Tadanori Yokoo, Rie Yokoyama, Moichi Tanabe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Miyuki Kuwano, Fumio Watanabe, Masahiko Tsugawa
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Fumio Watanabe ...
Takeo Omura
Akiko Koyama ...
Takeko Taniguchi
Tetsuo Abe ...
Toshio Omura
Tsuyoshi Kinoshita ...
Peewee
Edit

Storyline

Unmarried couple Takeo Omura and Takeko Kaniguchi travel across Japan with their two sons, the eldest, Toshio, who is biologically his but not hers. They are con artists, whose scam is for her to jump alongside moving vehicles feigning being hit and injured, while he, playing the outraged husband, negotiates with the worried driver for an unofficial cash settlement in return for not calling the police reporting the motorist's "guilt". She often does sustain minor injuries from the ruse. She believes that they will continue doing this work until they have enough money to settle down in one place, where he will get a legitimate job. However, he wants to continue the scam indefinitely as he, a veteran, claims that injuries he sustained during the war would prevent him from obtaining that legitimate work. When Toshio reaches age ten in 1966, they enlist him in the con, he now playing the accident victim, with Takeko now playing the concerned mother role. They even manufacture real bruises... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 April 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Boy  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Oshima explores identity formation
24 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The premise of Boy is quite simple: a middle aged couple travels around Japan and fakes accidents because they know hapless automobile drivers would rather pay a little bit of money to make their troubles go away then confront them. Most of the time they get the oldest child, who is never given a name beyond Boy, to quickly jump into a car from the side. The drivers must be very guilty people because they all assume they have in fact hit the Boy in spite of the impossible logistics they are presented with.

The Boy is the main character of the film and he's as disturbed as you would expect a ten year old boy who works dangerous con jobs to be. Since his family moves around all the time he doesn't have any sort of perspective of place, he hears the names of cities they are in and ones they are going to but they are never more than names to him. The Boy also lacks the usual naivety and faith in others that are usually found in children that age; he sees the worst side of the strange adults he deals with and his parents are trashy criminals: in addition to being the mastermind of their scam, the Father is also abusive and manipulative. The Mother is actually not the Boy's real mother but he still prefers her to his father; she may treat him poorly and give in all too easily to his father but she at least occasionally feels bad and tries to make him feel better. The Boy is in the unusual position of being the most intelligent and mature person in most of the encounters he has with others.

Although the Boy is disenchanted with humanity he is not disenchanted with all lifeforms: he repeatedly tells his baby brother and the Mother about the aliens from outer space. These aliens actually care about one another and help each other out instead of greedily deceiving each other. Basically, the aliens represent to him what family represents to most children his age. Unsurprisingly, he sees himself as a part of this mysterious but ubiquitous race, presumably one that has been placed in Japan by mistake.

In addition to the fascinating characterization of the protagonist Boy is also interesting for its experimental style. Oshima experiments with still images and distortions (as in the scene in which the Boy wears someone else's glasses and everything is slanted) and especially with color: filters give scenes tone they wouldn't have otherwise, often suggesting the emotions of the Boy quite effectively.

Oshima shows Japan as a country striving to find a sense of itself much as the boy does, particularly in the scene where Japan's traditional colors of red and white are displayed prominently in the background: not on the familiar flag but on a giant Coca Cola billboard. It's also no coincidence that the family exploits automobile traffic and not something more traditionally Japanese.

With Boy Oshima managed to make a film that was simultaneously universal in its treatment of human nature, culturally relevant in its treatment of postwar Japan's national identity, and modernistically rich in its treatment of cinematic techniques.


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A Child's Story onegreendress
Discuss Boy (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?