IMDb > Pitfall (1962)

Pitfall (1962) More at IMDbPro »Otoshiana (original title)

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.8/10   2,239 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Kôbô Abe (screenplay)
Kôbô Abe (story)
View company contact information for Pitfall on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 June 1962 (Japan) See more »
A man wanders into a seemingly deserted town with his young son in search of work. But after a bit of bad luck, he joins the town's population of lost souls. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(2 articles)
Hiroshi Teshigahara and the Japanese New Wave
 (From SoundOnSight. 1 September 2015, 5:12 AM, PDT)

Daily Briefing. Merv Bloch and "The Telephone Book"
 (From MUBI. 25 January 2012, 12:41 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Teshigahara's "Documentary Fantasy" See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order)
Hisashi Igawa ... Miner / Otsuka
Sumie Sasaki ... Shopkeeper
Sen Yano ... Toyama
Hideo Kanze ... Policeman
Kunie Tanaka ... Man in white suit
Kei Satô ... Reporter
Kazuo Miyahara ... The miner's son
Akemi Nara
Tadashi Fukuro ... Second union member
Kikuo Kaneuchi ... Photographer
Kanichi Ômiya ... Second miner
Shigeru Matsuo ... Farmer
Ton Shimada ... Dead miner
Sanpei Asakura
Heiguro Matsumoto

Directed by
Hiroshi Teshigahara 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kôbô Abe  screenplay
Kôbô Abe  story

Produced by
Tadashi Ôno .... producer
Original Music by
Toshi Ichiyanagi 
Yûji Takahashi 
Tôru Takemitsu 
Cinematography by
Hiroshi Segawa 
Film Editing by
Fusako Shuzui 
Production Design by
Kiyoshi Awazu 
Art Direction by
Masao Yamazaki 
Production Management
Hajime Funakoshi .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yasuo Yoshino .... assistant director
Sound Department
Kenji Mori .... sound effects editor
Shigenosuke Okuyama .... sound recordist
Tôru Takemitsu .... sound designer
Camera and Electrical Department
Mitsuo Kume .... gaffer
Music Department
Tôru Takemitsu .... musical director
Other crew
Kiyoshi Awazu .... title designer
Eiko Yoshida .... continuity

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Otoshiana" - Japan (original title)
"The Pitfall" - USA
See more »
97 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
UK:15 (2004, DVD) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Teshigahara's "Documentary Fantasy", 2 October 2014
Author: mevmijaumau from Croatia

Pitfall is the first film of what I like to call Teshigahara's Trilogy of Identity, succeeded by Woman of the Dunes and The Face of Another. The links these films share is that they're collaborations between Teshigahara, novelist Kobo Abe and composer Toru Takemitsu, they're shot in B&W, and they offer interesting takes on one's identity and how its fragility may be manipulated.

Pitfall's plot goes on at a leisure and really takes its time to build up, and while that quirk of its does manage to make the film feel like it's completely disconnected to reality and produce an unique supernatural atmosphere, it also goes nowhere, fails to build suspense and the execution overall falls flat and looks incomplete.

I like some of the ideas, like the mysterious killer in white, a mix of various genres and a distinct sense of voyeurism enhanced by camera angles (which was also heavily used in Yoshishige Yoshida's Woman of the Lake), but the first half of the film is quite dull and offers little to none interesting imagery despite Teshigahara's satirical visions being fresh on paper. Later when it gets going it still feels like something is missing A better resolution maybe?

Teshigahara called this, his first feature film, a "documentary fantasy" and one can easily see why. Elements of social realism concerning the miners are mixed with a ghost story (in midst of all the other genres). A bold move and one of Pitfall's most original qualities, along with the cold and geometrical filming style.

Interestingly enough, Criterion's edition of the three films has a huge fingerprint on the cover. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks that identity is the crucial theme in this pseudo-trilogy.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (12 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Pitfall (1962)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Question about the police officer Rune3000
My essay on Teshigahara's 1960s films head_radio
It's about time someone started a thread on this... O_L_D_B_O_Y
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Spider-Man 3 Fury Les vampires La Grande Illusion So Sweet, So Dead
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Crime section IMDb Japan section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.