7.5/10
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Dodes'ka-den (1970)

Dodesukaden (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 9 June 1971 (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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Cast

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
...
Yoshie Kawaguchi
Hisashi Igawa ...
Masuo Masuda
Hideko Okiyama ...
Tatsu Masuda
Tatsuo Matsumura ...
Kyota Watanaka
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 June 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dodes'ka-den  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Taro Sawagami: Father...
Ryotaro Sawagami: What is it?
Taro Sawagami: Is it true we aren't your children?
Ryotaro Sawagami: Think for yourself. Do you think you aren't? I know every one of you is mine. So, you're all dear to me. But if you don't love me, and if you don't think I'm your dad, then I am not. Right?
Taro Sawagami: But people have always said that we aren't your kids, that our fathers are all different. And they didn't just tell me, but also Jiro, Hanako and Shiro.
Ryotaro Sawagami: People say what they want. You can't stop them from saying all kinds of things. Right? No one can ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Beauty (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kurosawa's first film in color
26 December 1998 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews



In 1970, after a five year absence, Kurosawa made what would be his first film in color. Dodes' Ka-Den is a film that centers around many intertwining stories that go on in a small Tokyo slum.

The title comes from the sound a mentally retarded boy makes as he imagines he is operating a train. We slowly get to know more of the people in the small community, the two drunks who trade wives because they are not happy with the ones they have. The old man who is the center of the town who helps out a burglar that tries to rob him. The very poor father and son that cannot ever afford a house, so they imagine one up of their own. By the end of the film, the stories all come full circle, some turn out happy, others sad.

Since this was Kurosawa's first color film you can see that he uses it to his advantage and it shows. Maybe too much. This movie goes in many different directions and it's hard to settle down and get into it. But don't get me wrong, Dodes' Ka-Den may not be Kurosawa's best, but coming from the greatest director of all time, it's much better than 99% of today's films.


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