Dodes'ka-den (1970)
"Dodesukaden" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  9 June 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,223 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 34 critic

Various tales in the lives of Tokyo slum dwellers, including a mentally deficient young man obsessed with driving his own commuter trolley.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoshitaka Zushi ...
Kin Sugai ...
Toshiyuki Tonomura ...
Taro Sawagami
Shinsuke Minami ...
Ryotaro Sawagami
Yûko Kusunoki ...
Misao Sawagami
Junzaburô Ban ...
Yukichi Shima
Kiyoko Tange ...
Mrs. Shima
Michio Hino ...
Mr. Ikawa
Keiji Furuyama ...
Mr. Matsui
Tappei Shimokawa ...
Mr. Nomoto
Kunie Tanaka ...
Hatsutaro Kawaguchi
Jitsuko Yoshimura ...
Yoshie Kawaguchi
Hisashi Igawa ...
Masuo Masuda
Hideko Okiyama ...
Tatsu Masuda
Tatsuo Matsumura ...
Kyota Watanaka


Episodes from the lives of a group of Tokyo slum-dwellers: Rokkuchan, an intellectually disabled boy who brings meaning and routine to his life by driving an imaginary streetcar; children who support their parents by scrounging or by tedious and ill-paying endeavours; schemers who plot or dream of escaping the shackles of poverty. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 June 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dodes'ka-den  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie was made as the first feature of the Committee of the Four Knights, a group founded by four of Japan's greatest directors: Akira Kurosawa, Keisuke Kinoshita, Masaki Kobayashi and Kon Ichikawa. According to a interview with Ichikawa, they wanted their first picture to be a hit. When this film told a story deemed too depressing and was subsequently a failure with audiences, the group disbanded and never made another film. The movie's failure also contributed to Kurosawa's suicide attempt one year later. See more »

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User Reviews

Kurosawa's untypical masterpiece
20 February 2009 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This, and "Hidden fortress" are the Kurosawa's that are most dear to me. I don't hand out 10's like candy, but this certainly deserved it, if anything. Even though it's quite long (like all Kurosawa's pretty much are) it concurred the problem which bugs me with most of his films; the storyline is often too loose and slowly evolving, containing scenes that are unnecessary or just lenghtened too much without any real purpose to the storyline or the character description. Dodesukaden delivered to me the same experience that for example "Hidden fortress" did; despite its lenght, there wasn't a single minute I would cut out.

This is also a very unusual Kurosawa film in a way, it has no storyline, but many little independent stories which are based more to the character description than storyline, unlike any other Kurosawa-film I have seen so far. It also leans much on the dialogue, which he uses brilliantly (especially in the story between the father and the son planning their "new house").

Still the thing that makes this one a masterpiece is how the subject being so tragic as it is, is managed to be described so humanely and sympathetically, without pointing fingers at anybody at any point. From the beginning to the end it delivers the whole emotional scale from laughter to tears in perfect balance.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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