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The Most Beautiful (1944)

Ichiban utsukushiku (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | June 1987 (USA)
World War II film about female volunteer workers at an optics plant who do their best to meet production targets.


Akira Kurosawa


Akira Kurosawa




Cast overview, first billed only:
Takashi Shimura ... Chief Goro Ishida
Sôji Kiyokawa ... Soichi Yoshikawa, Chief of General Affairs Section
Ichirô Sugai ... Ken Shinda, Chief of Labor Section
Takako Irie ... Noriko Mizushima, dorm mother
Yôko Yaguchi ... Tsuru Watanabe, president of women workers
Sayuri Tanima Sayuri Tanima ... Yuriko Tanimura, vice president of the women workers
Sachiko Ozaki ... Sachiko Yamazaki
Shizuko Nishigaki Shizuko Nishigaki ... Fusae Nishioka
Asako Suzuki ... Asako Suzumura
Haruko Toyama Haruko Toyama ... Masako Koyama
Aiko Masu Aiko Masu ... Tokiko Hiroda
Kazuko Hitomi ... Kazuko Futomi
Shizuko Yamada ... Hisae Yamaguchi
Itoko Kôno ... Sue Okabe
Toshiko Hattori Toshiko Hattori ... Toshiko Hattori


During World War II, the management of a war industry of optical instruments for weapons requests an effort from the workers to increase the productivity during four months. The target for male workers is an increase of 100% of the production, but the female workers, led by the dedicated Tsuru Watanabe, ask the direction to surpass their goal from 50% to 70%. During the period, the women have to overcome illness and their personal problems to complete their quota. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


Most filming for the movie was shot on location at a real factory in Hiratsuke, named Nippon Kogaku, which helped give the movie more of a documentary feel to it. To get the best performance out of his actors, Akira Kurosawa had them live in the dormitory at the factory during filming, while being trained in the same jobs their characters were doing. This would start the career long trend of Kurosawa having his cast and crew live on set as big families during both preproduction and filming. See more »


Referenced in El conejo blanco: Warped to Hiroshima!! (2015) See more »

User Reviews

The War Effort
31 July 2011 | by crossbow0106See all my reviews

A curious film from Kurosawa, given what came later, this is a nationalist film about a group of young women who are working at an optical instruments factory who are given the task to greatly increase productivity for the good of the country and the war effort. It shows them rarely at play, mostly very focused at work. Takako Irie plays the dorm mother, a somewhat sympathetic character. This film is more inherently Japanese than most of Kurosawa's later work, its almost a propaganda film. However, there is also some heart in the characters, and that is what makes it a recommended film. You sense the young ladies anguish over being sick and having family difficulties, making them unable to work. So, not essential viewing but still watchable and Kurosawa fans should check it out.

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Release Date:

June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Most Beautiful See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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