7.9/10
5,431
27 user 53 critic

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)

A fictionalized account in four chapters of the life of celebrated Japanese writer Yukio Mishima.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Patriotism (1966)
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Noh dramatization of the suicides of Lt. Shinji Takeyama and his wife Reiko. After participating in a failed 1936 coup and being ordered to execute his friends, he bids his wife an intimate farewell and commits harakiri.

Directors: Masaki Dômoto, Yukio Mishima
Stars: Yukio Mishima, Yoshiko Tsuruoka
Blue Collar (1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three workers, Zeke (Richard Pryor), Jerry (Harvey Keitel) and Smokey (Yaphet Kotto), are working at a car plant and drinking their beers together. One night when they steal away from their... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A weak-willed Italian man becomes a fascist flunky who goes abroad to arrange the assassination of his old teacher, now a political dissident.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli, Gastone Moschin
Patty Hearst (1988)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The true story of a rich girl who was abducted by American revolutionaries in the 1970's. Her time spent with her captors made her question herself and her way of life and she joined forces... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames
Forever Mine (1999)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An affair between a cabana boy and the young wife of a sinister politician triggers a 16-year vendetta between the two men.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Joseph Fiennes, Ray Liotta, Gretchen Mol
Touch (1997)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When Juvenal, a presumed miracle worker, appears on the scene Bill Hill attempts to exploit him but his plans go astray with the untimely intervention of August Murray and the developing ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Bridget Fonda, Christopher Walken, Skeet Ulrich
Light of Day (1987)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The siblings Patty and Joe Rasnick live in an industrial suburb in Cleveland, Ohio. While Patty is focused on their rock band, The Barbusters, Joe also cares for the family and the ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Gena Rowlands, Joan Jett
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Ogata ...
Masayuki Shionoya ...
Morita (segment "November 25, 1970")
Hiroshi Mikami ...
Cadet #1 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Junya Fukuda ...
Cadet #2 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Shigeto Tachihara ...
Cadet #3 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Junkichi Orimoto ...
General Mashita (segment "November 25, 1970")
Naoko Ôtani ...
Mother (segment "Flashbacks")
Gô Rijû ...
Mishima, age 18-19 (segment "Flashbacks")
Masato Aizawa ...
Mishima - age 9-14 (segment "Flashbacks")
Yuki Nagahara ...
Mishima, age 5 (segment "Flashbacks")
Kyûzô Kobayashi ...
Literary Friend (segment "Flashbacks")
Yuuki Kitazume ...
Dancing Friend (segment "Flashbacks")
Haruko Katô ...
Grandmother (segment "Flashbacks")
Yasosuke Bando ...
Mizoguchi (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Hisako Manda ...
Mariko (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Edit

Storyline

A fictionalized account in four segments of the life of Japan's celebrated twentieth-century author Yukio Mishima. Three of the segments parallel events in Mishima's life with his novels (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), Kyoko's House, and Runaway Horses), while the fourth depicts 25 November 1970, "The Last Day"... Written by Nick Lopez <ntlopez@fas.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On November 25, 1970, Japan's greatest author Yukio Mishima commited an act that shocked the literary world...

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 September 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mishima  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$450,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Paul Schrader claims that a substantial amount of the finance was Japanese but, the Toho studio and their partners have persistently denied this: "We had a Japanese producer who was able to raise half of the budget through his own money and from Fuji Television and Toho-Towa. Then, of course, the Japanese financiers tried to pull out at the last minute because of pressure from the widow. There was another drama involving that and the end result was that they gave us the money but claimed that they didn't. To this day, they claim that they did not finance the film." See more »

Goofs

Shadow of camera and operator on the ground, to the bottom left of frame, as the garrison assembles for Mishima to deliver his address. See more »

Quotes

[Kiyomi cuts Osamu's bare chest. Osamu looks up, surprised]
Kiyomi: It's just a little cut.
Osamu: Why?
Kiyomi: Your skin is so beautiful, I just had to cut it.
Osamu: [smiles] It felt pleasant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Yukio Mishima is acknowledged to have been a real person, but his acts have been fictionalized by writers. Other persons and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons and events is unintentional. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pop Culture Beast's Halloween Horror Picks: Candyman (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
MISHIMA: A Troubled Life in Four Chapters
3 April 2001 | by (new york city) – See all my reviews

One would think that a film based on the life of the Japanese author Yukio Mishima would be a daunting if not impossible task. However Paul Schrader has indeed made a film "about" Mishima that is both superb & complex. While it is not a literal biography, Schrader & his co-screenwriter Leonard Scharder (his brother) have taken several incidents from his life, including his sucide and crafted what can best be described as incidental tableaus that are visually sparse and stunning. Mishima's homosexuality is almost not there, due to legal threats from his widow, but in spite of this, the film is still terrific, and one of the best films I saw in 1985. I should also mention the important contribution of Philip Glass who did the score, which adds an additional texture to the film, and is superior to the one he did for Scorsese's Kundun. Also notable is John Bailey's fine crisp beautifully colored cinematography and the great production design & costumes by Eiko Ishioka who went on to do the memorable costumes for Coppola's Dracula for which she received a well deserved Oscar. Hopefully this film will soon be available on DVD.


26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Film's Score zen_janitor
New Criterion DVD! graydons9
Differences Between Roy Scheider's Narration and Schrader's Narration thekarelianisthmus
John Lennon's Imagine in a Wal-Mart Cinefilodough
Language ZombieTongue
Criterion through Netflix? banana_on_a_skateboard
Discuss Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?