7.3/10
4,235
35 user 29 critic

The Idiot (1951)

Hakuchi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 30 April 1963 (USA)
A Japanese veteran, driven partially mad from the war, travels to the snowy island of Hokkaido where he soon enters a love triangle with his best friend and a disgraced woman.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Scandal (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A celebrity photograph sparks a court case as a tabloid magazine spins a scandalous yarn over a painter and a famous singer.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Shirley Yamaguchi, Yôko Katsuragi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A surgeon gets syphilis from a patient when he cuts himself during an operation. The doctor's life is destroyed, but unlike the patient, he doesn't destroy others along with him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Miki Sanjô
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An aging Japanese industrialist becomes so fearful of nuclear war that it begins to take a toll on his life and family.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In a Japanese slum, various residents play out their lives, dreaming of better things or settling for their lot. Among them is a man who pines for a young woman but is stymied by her deceptive family.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Kyôko Kagawa
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During a Sunday trip into war-ravaged Tokyo, despairing Yuzo and optimistic Masako look for work and lodging, as well as affordable entertainments to pass the time.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Isao Numasaki, Chieko Nakakita, Atsushi Watanabe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The daughter of a politically disgraced university professor struggles to find a place for herself in love and life, in the uncertain world of Japan leading into WWII.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Susumu Fujita, Denjirô Ôkôchi
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Sugata returns to prove his judo mastery in a match against Western opponents.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Susumu Fujita, Ryûnosuke Tsukigata
Drunken Angel (1948)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A drunken doctor with a hot temper and a violence-prone gangster with tuberculosis form a quicksilver bond.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Reizaburô Yamamoto
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

World War II film about female volunteer workers at an optics plant who do their best to meet production targets.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Takashi Shimura, Sôji Kiyokawa, Ichirô Sugai
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Japanese general and his men disguise themselves as monks in order to pass an enemy border patrol.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Susumu Fujita, Ken'ichi Enomoto
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sugata, a young man, struggles to learn the nuance and meaning of judo, and in doing so comes to learn something of the meaning of life.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Susumu Fujita, Yukiko Todoroki
Dodes'ka-den (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Various tales in the lives of Tokyo slum dwellers, including a mentally deficient young man obsessed with driving his own commuter trolley.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Yoshitaka Zushi, Kin Sugai, Toshiyuki Tonomura
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Setsuko Hara ... Taeko Nasu
Masayuki Mori ... Kinji Kameda
Toshirô Mifune ... Denkichi Akama
Yoshiko Kuga ... Ayako
Takashi Shimura ... Ono, Ayako's father
Chieko Higashiyama ... Satoko, Ayako's mother
Eijirô Yanagi ... Tohata
Minoru Chiaki ... Mutsuo Kayama, the secretary
Noriko Sengoku Noriko Sengoku ... Takako
Kokuten Kôdô ... Jumpei
Bokuzen Hidari ... Karube
Eiko Miyoshi ... Madame Kayama
Chiyoko Fumiya Chiyoko Fumiya ... Noriko
Mitsuyo Akashi Mitsuyo Akashi ... Madame Akama
Daisuke Inoue Daisuke Inoue ... Kaoru
Edit

Storyline

Kameda, who has been in an asylum on Okinawa, travels to Hokkaido. There he becomes involved with two women, Taeko and Ayako. Taeko comes to love Kameda, but is loved in turn by Akama. When Akama realizes that he will never have Taeko, his thoughts turn to murder, and great tragedy ensues. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

30 April 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Idiot See more »

Filming Locations:

Hokkaido, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (premiere) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa in his autobiography describes this film - which was heavily edited from the director's original four-hour-and-twenty-six-minute version, by order of the studio, Shochiku - as "ruinous" to his career. Upon release, reviews of this film in the Japanese press were, according to Kurosawa, universally "scathing." ("It was as if [the reviews] were a mirror reflection of the studio's attitude toward me," he writes.) Not surprisingly, therefore, in the annual Kinema Junpo critics' poll for films released in 1951, The Idiot (1951) appears way down in the list, ranked at #18. Of all twenty five Japanese-language films that Kurosawa released from the end of the Second World War to the end of his career, this film is the only one that failed to place within the "Best Ten" list of films in the Kinema Junpo poll of its release year. In fact, it has been claimed that only the immense popularity of the film's star, Setsuko Hara, prevented the film from being a complete commercial disaster. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Kameda's cries in his sleep wakes himself up and others on the train, including Denkichi Akama]
Denkichi Akama: That was some scream.
Kinji Kameda: Forgive me. I was dreaming.
Denkichi Akama: Dreaming? Sounded like you were being murdered.
Kinji Kameda: I was - about to be shot. It's a recurring nightmare of mine. You see, I was convicted as a war criminal.
See more »

Connections

Version of Nastazja (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

A Night on Bald Mountain
(uncredited)
Music by Modest Mussorgsky
Played during the ice carnival
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Beguiled
1 October 2011 | by crossbow0106See all my reviews

Before watching this film, I read the 700 page novel. Obviously, Mr. Kurosawa had to omit characters and even chapters, but he has made a coherent, wonderful and even a little disturbing film about obsession. Kameda (Masayuli Mori) is given a reprieve from being shot by the Americans in Okinawa post war (a good context to begin this film, the book is set in Russia in the 1850's) and goes to relatives in Hokkaido. He sees a portrait of Taeko Nasu (Ms. Hara) and is just struck by it. He meets her and though she was about to give her answer to one man regarding marriage, she asks Kameda, a veritable stranger whom she feels knows her, to make the decision and he says no. She runs off with Akama (Mr. Mifune) and Kameda follows. Also in the mix is the young, very pretty Ayako (Yoshiko Kuga), who may instead be be throed to Kameda. The choices have to be made, but bear in mind Kameda is still beguiled by Taeko. The acting, with many actors you've seen before or since in films of the period from Japan, are all uniformly good, but no one holds a torch to Setsuko Hara's Taeko. Her role is all about expressions and emotions, and she is absolutely perfect. You see her anguish, her foreboding, her sarcasm in every scene. The beautiful Ms. Hara is just amazing in this role, as she was in so many others. If you are ambitious, read the book first and you'll see what a great job Mr. Kurosawa did in adapting and directing this film. Without reading the book, I don't think you'll like it as much but it will definitely hold your interest. Lastly, the term "The Idiot" is more about Kameda having fits (somewhat like epilepsy), not being weak of mind. One of Kurosawa's best, Setsuko Hara is phenomenal and it is an excellent adaptation to the classic novel.


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 35 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