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Dodes'ka-den (1970)

Dodesukaden (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 17 October 1974 (USA)
Various tales in the lives of Tokyo slum dwellers, including a mentally deficient young man obsessed with driving his own commuter trolley.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »
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Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Isao Numasaki, Chieko Nakakita, Atsushi Watanabe
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoshitaka Zushi ...
Roku-chan
Kin Sugai ...
Okuni
Toshiyuki Tonomura ...
Shinsuke Minami ...
Yûko Kusunoki ...
Misao Sawagami
Junzaburô Ban ...
Kiyoko Tange ...
Mrs. Shima
Michio Hino ...
Mr. Ikawa
Keiji Furuyama ...
Mr. Matsui
Tappei Shimokawa ...
Mr. Nomoto
...
Hatsutaro Kawaguchi
...
Yoshie Kawaguchi
...
Masuo Masuda
Hideko Okiyama ...
Tatsu Masuda
...
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Storyline

An anthology of overlapping vignettes exploring the lives of a variety of characters who happen to live in a suburbial shantytown atop a rubbish dump: The boy Roku-chan lives in a fantasy world in which he is a tram conductor. In his fantasy world, he is both the tram and the tram driver and follows a set route and schedule through the dump, reciting the refrain "Dodeska-den", "clickety-clack", mimicking the sound of his vehicle. Ryotaro, a hairbrush maker by trade, is saddled with supporting many children whom his unfaithful wife Misao[c] has conceived in different adulterous affairs, but is wholeheartedly devoted to them. A pair of drunken day laborers (Masuda and Kawaguchi) who engage in wife-swapping, only to return to their own wives the next day as though nothing has happened. A stoic, bleak man named Hei is frequented by Ocho who appears to be his ex-wife, and he watches emotionless as she takes care of his domestic chores. Shima, the man with the tic, is always defending his ... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dodes'ka-den  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The crew simply called the set the town without seasons. See more »

Quotes

Suicidal Old Man: [Haltingly, opening up to Mr. Tanba, who patiently listens to him] I'm fed up with everything now... Life is nothing but pain to me. When I get up in the morning and get ready for breakfast... thinking I have to do everything all over again, I just lose my strength. Food doesn't taste good. I lose my appetite.
Suicidal Old Man: [continues, as Mr. Tanba listens silently] When I go to the public bath, I'm disgusted to see myself in the mirror. Naked, I look really disgusting and filthy. I can't stand myself. At this...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in American Beauty (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Sound of the Streetcar
18 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

The title is onomatopoeic, the sound of a streetcar clacking on the rails. It is metaphoric for all that the people who live in the dump cannot have. The misery of those people is illustrated by the passing streetcar which represents the relatively unobtainable rich life of the middle class. The pathos of the little boy and his beloved yet sadly insane father is most touching. This was Kurosawa's first film in colour and he uses beautifully shocking hues, colours seen only in dreams. The movie is surreal and surpassing in beauty. The compassion for humanity is the underling force, but as always, Kurosawa is focused on capturing the beauty of the film. It is a masterwork by a genius of cinema.


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