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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  9 June 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,173 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The artwork used as the cover of the region-one Criterion Collection DVD is Akira Kurosawa's original artwork for the film. See more »


Featured in The 62nd Annual Academy Awards (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

No samurai, just great characters
23 December 1998 | by (Durham, NC) – See all my reviews

This is a movie about the small scale. What could be more fitting for contemporary Japan?

It's too easy to give Kurosawa his laurels on the strength of the Toshiro Mifune films, his great panoramas of mist and rain, and Fuji, always, shrouded, revealed. Dodesukaden (Dodeska-Den in the US release from Janus) brings you right up into the characters, right into their faces, their homes, their hovels, their dreams. It's billed as Kurosawa's first color film. The composition is phenomenal, really. Each shot, no matter how it moves or how it doesn't, is as wonderfully framed as a painting, as balanced as a beautiful face. The color saturation is complete, and yet they seem to float above the screen rather than clobber you or intrude.

I am astounded by this film. I've never thought of Kurosawa as someone who would know how to handle squalor and the rude life of the bottom of the underclass. I was wrong. There isn't a false step in this picture, from the use of color to the editing to the choice of music and the times it's used. It's as moving a portrait of a community as I'll ever see. Dodesukaden belongs at the top of the canon of Kurosawaa's work, with Ran and The Hidden Fortress next to it.

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