Shall We Dance? (1996)
"Shall we dansu?" (original title)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  11 July 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 9,078 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 94 user | 81 critic | 18 from

A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.



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54 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tamiyo Kusakari ...
Mai Kishikawa
Tomio Aoki
Eri Watanabe ...
Toyoko Takahashi (as Eriko Watanabe)
Yu Tokui ...
Tokichi Hattori
Hiromasa Taguchi ...
Masahiro Tanaka
Reiko Kusamura ...
Tamako Tamura
Hideko Hara ...
Masako Sugiyama
Hiroshi Miyasaka ...
Kunihiko Ida ...
Teiji Kaneko
Amie Toujou ...
Hisako Honda
Ayano Nakamura ...
Chikage Sugiyama
Katsunari Mineno ...
Tomiko Ishii ...
Haruko Haraguchi
Maki Kawamura ...
Eiko Miyoshi


Shohei Sugiyama has attained all that he has wanted in life. But he is still depressed and unhappy. One day, he gathers up the courage to sign up for dancing lessons. He hopes they will rid his depression and help him get his life back together. Written by Robert Krzanowski <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's an overworked accountant. She's an accomplished dancer. Passion is about to find two unlikely partners.


Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

11 July 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shall We Dance?  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$88,106 (USA) (11 July 1997)


£28,684 (UK) (8 May 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (USA) (cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A poster on the studio's wall shows a performance photograph of Australian champions Jason Gilkison and Peta Roby. See more »


Mai Kishikawa: A weak first step transmits nothing.
See more »


Referenced in The Big Hit (1998) See more »


Shall We Dance
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Taeko Ohnuki
See more »

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User Reviews

A wonderful movie that proves Americans hate subtitles
7 March 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I simply love this movie. It is a perfect example of the well-rounded surprising stories that come out of Asian cinema. There was a recent Hollywood remake of this movie, with Richard Gere and the simply awful Jennifer Lopez. Please do not confuse the two movies. The original Japanese film is touching, subtle and wonderfully acted. The Hollywood version is the exact opposite. I was aghast when I first saw the trailer for the remade US Version and who was starring in it. It's typical Hollywood unoriginal crass commercialism at it's worst. The remake cements the argument that some foreign films can never be improved upon. The ONLY reason the original film did not become more widely viewed is the US audience's aversion to subtitles.

One of the main reasons this movie would never work in an American telling is that the reserved, ultra socially conservative character of the public Japanese persona is at issue in this movie. Certainly the main character awakens to a more full understanding of living a vivacious life through dance, but half of the movie's tension comes from the stereotypes and ridicule ballroom dancers face in Japan.

Please try to see this movie in it's original form, not the terrible full screen. And please DO skip the US's a shallow travesty in comparison to the original Japanese movie.

Yes, I know the "original" movie is much older, and this is simply a Japanese take on the story, but the only two people are likely to see any time soon are this one and the new US remake.

Speaking of foreign films, I'll make a few quick recommendations: 1.Monsoon Wedding-I list this first for a reason, outstanding film! 2.Johnny Stechino-Very funny Italian mistaken identity flic! 3.Shiri-A Korean action pic that mixes both Asian flare & US style plot 4.Run Lola Run-A German film that integrates it's techno score ingeniously.

Well, just a quick list anyway :-)

48 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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