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The Family Game (1983)

Kazoku gêmu (original title)
A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
17 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Yûsaku Matsuda ...
Yoshimoto, the tutor
Jûzô Itami ...
Mr. Numata, the father
Saori Yuki ...
Mrs. Numata, the mother
Ichirôta Miyakawa ...
Shigeyuki, the younger brother
Junichi Tsujita ...
Shinichi, the older brother
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yôko Aki ...
Yoshimoto's Lover
Kôichirô Doi ...
Katsunobu Ito ...
Shigeyuki's Japanese teacher
Shûsuke Kaneko ...
Bookstore guy
Yoshihiro Katô ...
Shigeyuki's gymnastic teacher
Asako Kobayashi ...
Yuriko Tagami
Asako Maekawa ...
Yuriko tagami
Yoneko Matsukane ...
Shigeyuki's English teacher
Mayumi Matsuno ...
Michiko hamamoto
Izumi Nakamori ...
Yasuko kikuchi


A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the younger son is a rebellious goof-off for whom a tutor must be hired. The tutor, played by the prototypical bad-boy actor Matsuda Yusaku, proceeds to blow the entire family apart (Matsuda's role is modeled on the myth of Susano-o no mikoto, the renegade deity who figures in the Kojiki). Written by David Pollack <pollack@troi.cc.rochester.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

1 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A családi játék  »

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Did You Know?


In the beginning part of the movie when the father talks to the tutor in the car and the tutor decides to turn on the radio, the radio language is Korean. The radio comes out in Korean and is reporting what President Chun Doo Hwan (the President of South Korea at that time) was doing See more »


Mrs. Numata, the mother: My son is not dumb because, as a little boy, he memorized an entire book about roller-coasters.
Yoshimoto, the tutor: Perhaps then he can work in an amusement park.
See more »


References My Fair Lady (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting! Playful! One of my TOP 5 Japanese Movies!
8 October 2000 | by (Tucson, AZ USA) – See all my reviews

This little film deals with, basically, a young, male Japanese teen who has seemed to just quit attempting to do well in school for one reason or another. I know what your thinking, "That's it." This movie actually deals with the relationship the young teen and his "tutor" have. Now, if you do not know anything about the Japanese society, I would suggest reading up on it a bit, especially dealing with the school system. But for those of you who do not have the time, it basically comes down to this . . . .males MUST do well in junior high, in order to get into a good high school, which in turn is the hardest type of schooling on the face of the earth. If they are lucky to finish and not collapse under the pressure, they eventually go on to college which is the easiest stretch of time they will ever encounter. But this is not all, there a lot of suttle points to admire here, but there are just too many to mention. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a light, but witty comedy. Also watch, "Tampopo", "A Taxing Woman", "Minbo no onna", "Hana-bi", "Kids Return", and "Adrenaline Drive." You will not be disappointed!

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