MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,231 this week

The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
"Narayama bushikô" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  29 April 1983 (Japan)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,492 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 45 critic

In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 02 Dec 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 01 Jun 2013
 
a list of 27 titles
created 24 Feb 2014
 
a list of 28 titles
created 05 Mar 2014
 
a list of 36 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Ballad of Narayama (1983)

The Ballad of Narayama (1983) on IMDb 7.9/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Ballad of Narayama.

User Polls

9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the lam.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako
Why Not? (1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Near the turbulent end of the Edo era, a man returning to Japan after exile in America searches for his wife and becomes swept up in the current of revolution in this incisive period drama from the great Shohei Imamura.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shigeru Izumiya, Kaori Momoi, Masao Kusakari
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A down-and-out businessman travels to a seaside town, where he meets a woman with unusual sexual powers.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Life story of a woman born in poverty trying to succeed. Through her many schemes, she faces her ups and downs in a cyclical nature, fueled mostly by self-interest.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Emiko Aizawa, Setsuko Amamiya, Tomio Aoki
Drama | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Masao Mishima
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A housewife living under her tyrannical husband has her life stressfully turned upside down after getting raped by a burglar.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Masumi Harukawa, Kô Nishimura, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Life of a pornographer who tries to stay under the radar of the mob. He has a mistress, a step-son, a step-daughter (whom he's attracted to) and a wife who believes her first husband was reincarnated as a restless carp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shôichi Ozawa, Sumiko Sakamoto, Ganjirô Nakamura
Man of Iron (1981)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A worker becomes a "man of iron" forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Stars: Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Krystyna Janda, Marian Opania
Documentary | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Yoshie Hayakawa, Shôhei Imamura, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi
Zegen (1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Mitsuko Baishô, Chun Hsiung Ko
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On August 15, ten years after the Pacific War, five people meet at a station. Their purpose is to dig out a cache of morphine -- now worth sixty million yen -- that HASHIMOTO, an army ... See full summary »

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Reiji Akitsu, Shinsuke Ashida, Takeshi Katô
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An engineer from Tokyo arrives on a drought-ridden tropical island to drill a well to power a nearby sugar mill. He meets the inbred Futori family, hated by the locals for breaking religious customs.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Kazuo Kitamura
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Ogata ...
Tatsuhei
Sumiko Sakamoto ...
Orin
Tonpei Hidari ...
Risuke
Aki Takejô ...
Tamayan
Shôichi Ozawa ...
Katsuzô
Fujio Tokita ...
Jinsaku
Sanshô Shinsui ...
Zeniya no Tadayan
Seiji Kurasaki ...
Kesakichi
Junko Takada ...
Matsuyan
Mitsuko Baishô ...
Oei
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Teruyan
Kêshî Takamine ...
Arayashiki (as Kêshi Takamine)
Nenji Kobayashi ...
Tsune
Nijiko Kiyokawa ...
Okane
Akio Yokoyama ...
Amaya
Edit

Storyline

In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he or she would disgrace their family. Old Orin is 69. This winter it is her turn to go to the mountain. But first she must make sure that her eldest son Tatsuhei finds a wife. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only time could change the cruelty of tradition ... only their Love could survive it ... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 April 1983 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Balladen om Narayama  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Remake of Ballad of Narayama (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Risuke no uta
Written by Hitoshi Machida
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A shocking, depressing, and even humorous depiction of a villages efforts to survive.
27 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Ballad of Narayama" is ultimately a film about survival.

Set during the Meiji Period, the inhabitants of a tiny Japanese farming village are forced to embrace extreme tactics to ensure that they stay alive.

Male babies are instantly killed with hardly any remorse, while females are usually sold. Stealing food is punishable by death, which we see in a very disturbing scene where an entire family are buried alive due their father's crime.

And, ultimately, the elderly are sent to die at the base of a mountain called Narayama when they reach the age of 70.

Despite the depressing tone, there is a lot of humor in this film, as well. The songs that the villagers sing about each other are pretty funny, and it's difficult not to laugh at Old Orin trying to knock her own teeth out with a rock.

Speaking of Old Orin, the actress who player her (Sumiko Sakamoto) gives a wonderful performance in this film. She had her teeth surgically removed for this role, and gives a realistic depiction of a 70-year-old woman even though she was in her 40s when the film was made.

"Ballad of Narayama" is indeed a depressing film in many aspects, but it's also filled with humor and offers a better understanding of what life must be like in these types of situations.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ebert+Siskel punch-drunk_love
When Tatsuhei Said 'Bitch' PinkPolka1010
Sexual overload? homegnome1
I don't understand the hole dog scene. I-TheMan-I
Which Version? chuck-526
Discuss The Ballad of Narayama (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?