7.5/10
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4 user 20 critic

The Demon (1978)

Kichiku (original title)
When Sokichi stops providing his long-time lover Kikuyo enough money to pay for the care of their three young children, Kikuyo leaves the children with Sokichi - and his very surprised and angry wife Oume - and disappears.

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9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Oume, Sokichi's wife
Ken Ogata ...
Sôkichi Takeshita
Hiroki Iwase ...
Riichi, Sôkichi and Kikuyo's first son
Miyuki Yoshizawa ...
Yoshiko
Jun Ishii ...
Shôichi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eimei Esumi
Jun Hamamura ...
Welfare official
Yoshie Hinoki
Yukio Horikita
Takanobu Hozumi ...
Mizuguchi
Tokuo Ichimaru
Hirokazu Inoue
Hirokazu Ishii
Jun Kajima
Keizô Kanie ...
Akutsu, Sôkichi's colleague
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Storyline

When Sokichi stops providing his long-time lover Kikuyo enough money to pay for the care of their three young children, Kikuyo leaves the children with Sokichi - and his very surprised and angry wife Oume - and disappears.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They'd be bettter off with strangers.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Demon  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Connections

References Gatchaman (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite good
20 June 2005 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

A man (Ken Ogata) is saddled with his three illegitimate children when his mistress skips town. This more than annoys his actual wife (Shima Iwashita), who knew nothing about it and is herself childless. Ogata attempts to care for the children, but he just isn't up to it. For a while, I was expecting an Ozu-esquire domestic drama about a man and his wife who eventually come to love these children and learn responsibility. Oh, how wrong I was. I should have known that the title had something to do with the content. After thirty minutes or so the film's tone shifts as the husband and wife make plans to get rid of their unwanted bundles of joy. This is a very dark film, done very subtly. It strikes me as something Vittorio de Sica could have made perfectly. The last sequence reminds me very much of The Children Are Watching Us. As it is, The Demon is not a perfect picture. It goes on a bit too long. You can't do much besides hate the married couple, and it's just so difficult to build honest suspense around endangered children. Ogata, best known as being the star of Shohei Imamura's Vengeance Is Mine, which was made the next year, is exceptional. He goes through a range of emotions in the picture, all perfectly and subtly expressed. He is probably the titular character, but that title is ironic. He is demonic in his intentions, but he is clearly a human being. A couple of third act speeches, especially one he gives about his own past, harms the film a lot, unfortunately. Shima Iwashita is also great, although she doesn't get any chance to seem human (she's much closer to being a demon). In the past she starred in two movies by Ozu (Late Autumn and An Autumn Afternoon), as well as Shinoda's Double Suicide, Kobayashi's Harakiri, and Okamoto's Red Lion. I also love the musical score, though it is often used cheaply to toy with the audience's emotions. The film wins extra points by mentioning Gatchaman, one of my favorite TV series ever (that I just found on DVD!).


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