キネマ旬報見るべき映画100本:日本映画編

by eiganerd | created - 15 Nov 2011 | updated - 16 Nov 2011 | Public

These are the 100 Japanese films that film journal "Kinema Jumpo" lists as required viewing.

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1. Madamu to nyôbô (1931)

64 min | Comedy, Drama

A writer struggles to finish his story against many distractions, but the jazz party next door proves to be too much.

Director: Heinosuke Gosho | Stars: Atsushi Watanabe, Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Ichimura, Satoko Date

Votes: 121

2. I Was Born, But... (1932)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara

Votes: 3,864

4. Gion no shimai (1936)

95 min | Drama

Two geisha sisters lead a hard life in the Gion district of Kyoto. After one of them feels obliged to support a bankrupt businessman, the other sister sets up various schemes to get rid of him.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya, Eitarô Shindô

Votes: 1,916

5. Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937)

86 min | Drama

The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.

Director: Sadao Yamanaka | Stars: Chôjûrô Kawarasaki, Kan'emon Nakamura, Tsuruzô Nakamura, Chôemon Bandô

Votes: 1,399

6. Muhomatsu no issho (1943)

80 min | Action, Adventure

Matsugoro is a poor rickshaw driver whose animated spirit and optimistic demeanor make him a favorite of the town. Matsu helps an injured boy, Toshio, and is hired by the boy's parents.

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki | Stars: Tsumasaburô Bandô, Ryûnosuke Tsukigata, Keiko Sonoi, Kyôji Sugi

Votes: 47

7. Anjô-ke no butôkai (1947)

89 min | Drama

After Japan's loss in the war, the wealthy, cultured, liberal Anjo family have to give up their mansion and their way of life. They hold one last ball at the house before leaving. The ... See full summary »

Director: Kôzaburô Yoshimura | Stars: Setsuko Hara, Yumeko Aizome, Osamu Takizawa, Masayuki Mori

Votes: 220

8. Aoi sanmyaku (1949)

92 min | Drama, Romance

When a post-war high school girl is seen with an older boy many find the nontraditional notion unacceptable and try to trick the girl and also assail her right to continue the relationship.... See full summary »

Director: Tadashi Imai | Stars: Setsuko Hara, Ryô Ikebe, Michiyo Kogure, Yôko Sugi

Votes: 78

9. Late Spring (1949)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura

Votes: 10,841

10. Till We Meet Again (1950)

110 min | Drama, History

The hero Saburo (Okada Eiji) is obstructed by a series of events from meeting Keiko (Kuga Yoshiko), his fiancee.

Director: Tadashi Imai | Stars: Yoshiko Kuga, Eiji Okada, Osamu Takizawa, Akitake Kôno

Votes: 79

11. Rashômon (1950)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 123,108

12. Carmen Comes Home (1951)

86 min | Comedy

A girl who had left her home village for life in Tokyo returns to her home years later, and evokes a scandal when the locals discover that she's a stripper.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita | Stars: Hideko Takamine, Shûji Sano, Chishû Ryû, Kuniko Igawa

Votes: 392

13. Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka

Votes: 53,235 | Gross: $0.06M

14. Entotsu no mieru basho (1953)

108 min | Drama

Where Chimneys Are Seen focuses primarily on the interconnected lives of two couples in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in Senju, a poor industrial section of Tokyo.

Director: Heinosuke Gosho | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Ken Uehara, Hideko Takamine, Hiroshi Akutagawa

Votes: 156

15. Ugetsu (1953)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy, War

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka, Mitsuko Mito

Votes: 16,623 | Gross: $0.01M

16. Kimi no na wa (1953)

127 min | Drama, Romance

Add a Plot

Director: Hideo Ôba | Stars: Keiko Kishi, Keiji Sada

Votes: 14

17. Tokyo Story (1953)

Not Rated | 136 min | Drama

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura, Setsuko Hara

Votes: 38,348

18. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 263,745 | Gross: $0.27M

19. Twenty-Four Eyes (1954)

Not Rated | 156 min | Drama

Schoolteacher Hisako Oishi forms an emotional bond with her pupils and teaches them various virtues, while at the same time worrying about their future.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita | Stars: Hideki Gôko, Itsuo Watanabe, Makoto Miyagawa, Takeo Terashita

Votes: 1,810

20. Gojira (1954)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi

Votes: 22,255 | Gross: $2.42M

21. Ukigumo (1955)

123 min | Drama, Romance

A tragic social drama set in post war Japan and concerns a lonely woman trying to find purpose and stability in a devastated Tokyo.

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Mariko Okada, Isao Yamagata

Votes: 1,839

23. Kurutta kajitsu (1956)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance

Spending their summer on an exotic beach, two brothers fall for the same beautiful girl, whose charm and looks may hide more than they they bargained for.

Director: Kô Nakahira | Stars: Yûjirô Ishihara, Masahiko Tsugawa, Mie Kitahara, Shinsuke Ashida

Votes: 1,430

24. Bakumatsu taiyôden (1957)

110 min | Comedy, Drama

In the last days of the Shogunate, a resourceful grifter seeks to outwit competing prostitutes, rebellious samurai and other inhabitants of a brothel in order to survive the hardened times.

Director: Yûzô Kawashima | Stars: Furankî Sakai, Sachiko Hidari, Yôko Minamida, Yûjirô Ishihara

Votes: 485

25. Harikomi (1958)

116 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Harikomi is an atypical film noir with a social background. It tells the story of two detectives of Tokyo that, on the trail of a murderer, they have to faced with Sadako that will end up questioning their role of police officers and men.

Director: Yoshitarô Nomura | Stars: Minoru Ôki, Takahiro Tamura, Seiji Miyaguchi, Hideko Takamine

Votes: 182

26. The Ballad of Narayama (1958)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama

A kabuki theatre-inflected story about a poor village whose people have to be carried to a nearby mountain to die once they get old.

Director: Keisuke Kinoshita | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Teiji Takahashi, Yûko Mochizuki, Danko Ichikawa

Votes: 2,028

27. Giants and Toys (1958)

95 min | Comedy, Drama

In the middle of a fierce commercial competition between three caramel companies, an executive builds up a ditsy teenage girl as a mascot while simultaneously trying to uncover the rival companies' plans.

Director: Yasuzô Masumura | Stars: Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Hitomi Nozoe, Osamu Abe, Kôichi Fujiyama

Votes: 631

28. The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (I) (1959)

Not Rated | 208 min | Drama, War

A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima, Ineko Arima

Votes: 4,572

29. The Ghost of Yotsuya (1959)

76 min | Horror

The ghost of a samurai's wife takes revenge on her husband.

Director: Nobuo Nakagawa | Stars: Shigeru Amachi, Noriko Kitazawa, Katsuko Wakasugi, Shuntarô Emi

Votes: 928

30. Nihon no yoru to kiri (1960)

107 min | Drama

Long takes and a highly theatrical visual approach combine to form a tense and confrontational look at the decline of a socialist student activists' movement in Japan.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Miyuki Kuwano, Fumio Watanabe, Masahiko Tsugawa, Hiroshi Akutagawa

Votes: 472

31. Otôto (1960)

98 min | Drama

Set in 1926 when Japanese tradition was much stronger, this standard drama looks at the inner workings of a small family, especially the relationship between a sister and brother.

Director: Kon Ichikawa | Stars: Keiko Kishi, Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Masayuki Mori

Votes: 258

32. The Naked Island (1960)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama

A family of four are the sole inhabitants of a small island, where they struggle each day to irrigate their crops.

Director: Kaneto Shindô | Stars: Nobuko Otowa, Taiji Tonoyama, Shinji Tanaka, Masanori Horimoto

Votes: 3,919

33. Furyo shonen (1961)

89 min | Drama

An improvisational film depicting life in a boys' reform school.

Director: Susumu Hani | Stars: Yukio Yamada, Hirokazu Yoshitake, Koichiro Yamazaki, Yasuo Kurokawa

Votes: 67

34. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 89,145

35. Miyamoto Musashi (1961)

110 min | Action, Drama, History

The film begins when the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi is still named Shinmen Takezo. After being on the losing side of the Battle of Sekigahara, Takezo and his friend manage to escape and come across a young woman and her mother.

Director: Tomu Uchida | Stars: Kinnosuke Nakamura, Akiko Kazami, Wakaba Irie, Isao Kimura

Votes: 172

37. Kyûpora no aru machi (1962)

99 min | Drama

Set in Kawaguchi, just north of Tokyo in the early 60s, this simple story chronicles the lives of poor foundry workers and their families, and one girl's dreams of self-improvement through ... See full synopsis »

Director: Kirio Urayama | Stars: Sayuri Yoshinaga, Mitsuo Hamada, Eijirô Tôno, Shôichi Ozawa

Votes: 86

38. The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur who also happens to be a master swordsman.

Director: Kenji Misumi | Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Masayo Banri, Ryûzô Shimada, Hajime Mitamura

Votes: 3,862

40. Harakiri (1962)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Drama, History

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurô Tanba

Votes: 22,228

41. Gobanchô yûgirirô (1963)

137 min | Drama, Romance

A forlorn love story between a young monk and his childhood sweet-heart set in post WWII Japan.

Director: Tomotaka Tasaka | Stars: Yoshiko Sakuma, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Michiyo Kogure, Minoru Chiaki

Votes: 12

42. Sleepy Eyes of Death: The Chinese Jade (1963)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama

Nemuri Kyoshiro, a youthful and cynical ronin with unparalleled skill, is approached by both sides in a game of corruption, ambition, and double crosses. The leader of the Kaga clan, who ... See full summary »

Director: Tokuzô Tanaka | Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Tamao Nakamura, Shinobu Araki, Saburô Date

Votes: 191

43. Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Thriller

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara | Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô, Kôji Mitsui

Votes: 13,501

44. Kiga kaikyô (1965)

183 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Three thieves escape from a heist, one of them killing the other two. He is sheltered by a prostitute and sought after by the police, but only after ten years his true motivation unravels.

Director: Tomu Uchida | Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Sachiko Hidari, Kôji Mitsui, Yoshi Katô

Votes: 604

45. Kwaidan (1964)

Not Rated | 183 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi | Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Kenjirô Ishiyama

Votes: 11,757

46. Tôkyô orinpikku (1965)

Not Rated | 170 min | Documentary, Sport

Kon Ichikawa examines the beauty and rich drama on display at the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo, creating a record of observations that range from the expansive to the intimate.

Director: Kon Ichikawa | Stars: Abebe Bikila, Jack Douglas, Hirohito

Votes: 1,262

47. Shiroi Kyotô (1966)

150 min | Drama

Zaizen Goro may only be an assistant professor but he has already made a name for himself. His superior, however, does not approve of his attitude towards their profession, and is at odds ... See full summary »

Director: Satsuo Yamamoto | Stars: Jirô Tamiya, Eijirô Tôno, Takahiro Tamura, Eitarô Ozawa

Votes: 116

48. Kenka erejî (1966)

Not Rated | 86 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

During the 1930s, a teenager yearns for a Catholic girl, whose only desire is to reform his sinful tendencies. Hormones raging, the young man channels his unsatisfied lust into the only outlet available: savage, crazed violence.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Hideki Takahashi, Junko Asano, Yûsuke Kawazu, Chikako Miyagi

Votes: 1,038

49. Nihon no ichiban nagai hi (1967)

157 min | Drama, History, War

Following the detonation of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese military and the government clash over the demand from the Allies for unconditional surrender. Minister ... See full summary »

Director: Kihachi Okamoto | Stars: Seiji Miyaguchi, Rokkô Toura, Chishû Ryû, Sô Yamamura

Votes: 541

51. Nikudan (1968)

116 min | Drama, War