7.8/10
2,871
17 user 30 critic

The Only Son (1936)

Hitori musuko (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1 April 1987 (USA)
A widow sends her only son away to receive a better education. Years later, she visits him, finding him a poor school teacher with a wife and son.

Director:

Yasujirô Ozu

Writers:

Yasujirô Ozu (short story) (as James Maki), Tadao Ikeda (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Shuhei Horikawa, a poor schoolteacher, struggles to raise his son Ryohei by himself, despite neither money nor prospects.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Shûji Sano, Shin Saburi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man returns from World War II to find his desperate wife had resorted to one night of prostitution to pay for their son's hospital bills.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Shûji Sano, Chieko Murata
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A kabuki actor's mistress hatches a jealous plot to bring down her lover's son.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Takeshi Sakamoto, Chôko Iida, Kôji Mitsui
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Unemployed Kihachi and his two sons struggle to make ends meet. But that doesn't keep Kihachi from wooing single mother Otaka.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Takeshi Sakamoto, Yoshiko Okada, Chôko Iida
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When the patriarch of the Toda family suddenly dies, his widow discovers that he has left her with nothing but debt and married children who are unwilling to support her--except for her most thoughtful son, just returned from China.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Mieko Takamine, Shin Saburi, Hideo Fujino
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young boy follows Tashiro home to his tenement housing complex on the outskirts of Tokyo, the boy who was separated from his carpenter father somehow and somewhere in Kudan. All Tashiro ... See full summary »

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chôko Iida, Hôhi Aoki, Eitarô Ozawa
Early Spring (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young man and his wife struggle within the confines of their passionless relationship while he has an extramarital romance.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chikage Awashima, Ryô Ikebe, Teiji Takahashi
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A businessman clashes with his elder daughter over her choice of a husband.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Shin Saburi, Kinuyo Tanaka, Ineko Arima
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two sisters find out the existence of their long-lost mother, but the younger cannot take the truth of being abandoned as a child.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Ineko Arima, Chishû Ryû
Early Summer (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Chishû Ryû, Chikage Awashima
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging widower arranges a marriage for his only daughter.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Shima Iwashita, Keiji Sada
Late Autumn (1960)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A widow tries to marry off her daughter with the help of her late husband's three friends.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Yôko Tsukasa, Mariko Okada
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Chôko Iida ... Tsune Nonomiya (O-Tsune)
Shin'ichi Himori ... Ryosuke Nonomiya
Masao Hayama ... Ryosuke Nonomiya, as child
Yoshiko Tsubouchi ... Sugiko
Mitsuko Yoshikawa ... O-Taka
Chishû Ryû ... Professor Ookubo
Tomoko Naniwa Tomoko Naniwa ... Ookubo's wife
Kiyoshi Aono Kiyoshi Aono ... Matsumura, old man
Jun Yokoyama Jun Yokoyama ... Okubo's son (as Bakudan Kozô)
Eiko Takamatsu Eiko Takamatsu ... Jokou
Seiichi Katô Seiichi Katô ... Kinjo no ko (as Seiichi Kato)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tomio Aoki Tomio Aoki ... Tomibo (as Tokkan Kozô)
Edit

Storyline

In 1923, in the province of Shinshu, the widow and simple worker of a silk factory Tsune Nonomiya (O-Tsune) decides to send her only son to Tokyo for having a better education. Thirteen years later, she visits her son Ryosuke Nonomiya (Shinichi Himori), and finds that he is a poor and frustrated night-school teacher with a wife, Sugiko (Yoshiko Tsubouchi), and a baby boy. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 April 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Only Son See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Yasujirô Ozu's first feature film with all-synchronous dialogue. See more »

Connections

Features Lover Divine (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Black Joe
Written by Stephen Foster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Ozu's first 'talkie'
5 June 2011 | by jamesmartin1995See all my reviews

In which genre would you place an Ozu film? Most would say 'melodrama', simply for ease, but to put this director's body of work into a category cram packed with the saccharine misfires of Hollywood all the way to the recent, shamelessly OTT 'Black Swan' (which, bizarrely, has found its way into the IMDb Top 250) is surely either a sign of laziness, a misunderstanding of his work or a pure insult.

If the films of Ozu really can be classed as 'melodramas', then we must first state that they are in a league of their own, and revolutionary to the category, providing endless inspiration for artists of all kinds - filmmakers, authors, actors and theatre directors have all named him as an influence. While other directors were busy shamelessly masturbating the emotions of their audience with forced dialogue, contrived plots and unbelievable amounts of glamorous cheese, Ozu's films, by comparison, would be seen by many people as anticlimactic and boring. Yet never in his career did he make a poor film, and mediocrities are few and far between (most of which are lost in his silent work). Indeed, even though 'The Only Son' was Ozu's first sound picture, he had been working in film for many years before this production. What we see in this early film is the work of a director already confident with the medium in which he worked, and the result is an understated, dignified delight.

It seems wrong to give a plot summary, as the story itself is of little consequence. Ozu was one of the few directors who managed to master the art of transcending the confines of plot and escape to the much wider universe in which emotional honesty and character all come into their own.

Some may be wondering what I am talking about, considering that Ozu always seemed to focus on family relationships. There are many who would argue that in actual fact, he never really experimented at all, and limited himself to this one subject.

But what a fascinating subject it can be. Ozu, with graceful skill and extreme talent, managed to explore human existence more completely than any director before or since, all with a largely stationary camera disclosing to the viewer immaculately ordered shots, and often placed at the eye level of a person seated on a tatami mat.

In this film, a mother working at a silk mill in rural Japan decides to send her son to secondary school in the hope that he will be able to escape his poor heritage and make something of himself in Tokyo. Sounds underwhelming and clichéd enough, doesn't it? But forget about that. As always with Ozu, it is his humanity, the nuances of the performances and the beautiful dignity and sympathetic nature of his direction that makes the film worth watching. His films tap into emotional realms that others can only make pathetic, superficial attempts at penetrating, and for that and that alone, his films should be treasured. This is no exception, and it is the perfect starting point to first time viewers of Ozu's work.

PS - As it is no exception, mind you have some Kleenex at the ready. Tears tend to run freely down the cheeks of the most hardened critics during these excursions into Ozu's Japan.

And for Ozu fans, this also stars Chishu Ryu, Ozu's favourite actor, in a minor role as the young boy's primary school teacher.


8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed