Up 4,891 this week

Empire of Passion (1978)
"Ai no borei" (original title)

 -  Drama | Horror | Romance  -  26 March 1979 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,961 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 38 critic

A young man has an affair with an older woman. He is very jealous of her husband and decides that they should kill him. One night, after the husband had plenty of sake to drink and was in ... See full summary »



Watch Trailer
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 04 Feb 2011
a list of 38 titles
created 04 Feb 2012
a list of 44 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 48 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 29 titles
created 4 months ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Empire of Passion (1978)

Empire of Passion (1978) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Empire of Passion.
3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ...
Takahiro Tamura ...
Takuzô Kawatani ...
Inspector Hotta
Akiko Koyama ...
Mother of Landowner
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Sumie Sasaki ...
Eizô Kitamura
Masami Hasegawa ...
Kenzô Kawarasaki ...
(as Kenzo Kawarazaki)


A young man has an affair with an older woman. He is very jealous of her husband and decides that they should kill him. One night, after the husband had plenty of sake to drink and was in bed, they strangle him and dump his body down a well. To avert any suspicions, she pretends her husband has gone off to Tokyo to work. For three years the wife and her lover secretly see each other. Finally, suspicions become very strong and people begin to gossip. To make matters worse, her husband's ghost begins to haunt her and the law arrives to investigate her husband's disappearance. Written by Kevin Risch <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

village | well | ghost | japan | adultery | See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Empire of Passion  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While filming the scene where Toyoji tries to break into the burning house by ramming the door down, Tatsuya Fuji tore three ligaments in his shoulder and dislocated his arm. Three days later, he was back on the set filming the scene where he was being hung from a tree and beaten, with his arm still in a sling (although removed between takes). See more »


Referenced in Radio On (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A haunting, poetic tale inspired by true incidents...
15 July 2003 | by (Chippewa Falls, WI) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** First, let me state that I am a huge film buff, but unfortunately somewhat new to Japanese films. I also want to clarify something that seemed unclear in previous reviews I've read here. The English title "In the Realm of Passion" appears to be truly an exploitive maneuver (probably by the director or studio executive) to lure the viewer into thinking that this is somehow related to "In The Realm of the Senses". It has nothing in common except that it's set in feudal japan, the plot involves a scandalous affair, starring the same leading male actor, and it's directed by the same director. the story and characters are not directly related in any way. I expected tons of steamy sex scenes, possibly involving the "in the..senses" characters.This is not that kind of movie.That having been said, I still liked it, and found it to be very haunting and disturbing at times.

BIG-TIME SPOILERS AHEAD In a nutshell, the story involves a boring, ignorant, (but diligent) husband who who goes about his daily business of providing for his family, which includes 2 children and a wife-who happens to be having an affair with a much younger man. Together their foolish passions ignite a ridiculous plot to kill her husband, after she gets him drunk on saki. They dump his body in a well and try to live their life as though nothing had happen. It isn't long before the village starts to doubt the wife's story about her husband being "out of town". Shortly after his death, the slain husband appears as a desolate, confused ghost, which tortures the now going insane wife. Soon an inspector arrives and probes deeper into the lover's tangled web...SPOILER END Even though the story is somewhat of a cliché, I feel it hasn't really dated. I found the tale truly creepy, and to me gave me a unique window into life in feudal Japan. I felt the undertone of a silent thriller, that would lead up to jagged little moments of shock, and suspense. I was slightly annoyed by the lead actress's "whiny" nature but thought, overall, everyone pulled it off. An interesting movie, that quietly grabs you, and slowly pulls you in. This may sound bizarre, but I kept feeling the same creepiness of "the Ring" ("Ringu") The well scene, themes of the undead, the ominous forest were all themes in comon with that thriller. Check it out.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
French Blu-ray? WillBarks
Discuss Empire of Passion (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: