8.0/10
510
5 user 7 critic

Muddy River (1981)

Doro no kawa (original title)
In post-War Japan, a boy from a noodle store-owning family befriends a neighboring boy living in poverty.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Shinpei Itakura
Mariko Kaga ...
Shoko Matsumoto, Kiichi and Ginko's mother
Nobutaka Asahara ...
Nobuo Itakura
Makiko Shibata ...
Ginko Matsumoto
Minoru Sakurai ...
Kiichi Matsumoto
Yumiko Fujita ...
Sadako Itakura, Nobuo's mother
Gannosuke Ashiya ...
Shinoda, the horse cart man
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Reiko Hatsune ...
Tabacco shop woman
Keizô Kanie ...
Policeman
Yoshitaka Nishiyama ...
Warehouse guard
...
Man on festival boat
Masako Yagi ...
Shinpei's first wife

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Storyline

Two boys, whose parents ply their trade by the mouth of a muddy river in Osaka, become close friends. The two families' "businesses" are in fact dining and prostitution. When Nobou, the restauranteur's son, loses his pocket money during the Tenjin Festival, Kiichi, the prostitute's boy, invites him home, and he learns the truth. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

30 January 1981 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Muddy River  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Japan's official submission to the 1982's Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category. See more »

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User Reviews

WHY isn't this available on DVD or VHS?
25 October 2006 | by (east coast USA) – See all my reviews

This film never seems to have been released, on VHS or DVD--WHY? It won several awards when it came out, and it's director is well-known. Was it ever released in Asia on any home video format? This is TOIO GOOD A FILM to be so forgotten!! This film reminds me of--yes--many other films about childhood--"Whistle Down the Wind" is another film few people remember. This film was released in 1981, yet it's setting in post-WWII Japan makes it seem timeless--especially the use of black and white throughout, and the strong ending. But there are many subtler asides--the one father's seeming allusion (as a Japanese war vet)to war crimes they were forced to commit in China ("we did all the dirty work") and all this still overlain with the aura of nostalgia and childhood "mystification" make it a very powerful and subtle film. I wonder if the social criticism and allusion to war crimes are what has kept it out of home-viewings release and in total obscurity for the past 25 years?!?!


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