8.3/10
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185 user 117 critic

Ikiru (1952)

Not Rated | | Drama | 25 March 1956 (USA)
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

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Top Rated Movies #125 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Kanji Watanabe
... Kimura
Haruo Tanaka ... Sakai
... Noguchi
... Toyo Odagiri, employee
... Ohara
Minosuke Yamada ... Subordinate Clerk Saito
... Sub-Section Chief Ono
Makoto Kobori ... Kiichi Watanabe, Kanji's Brother
Nobuo Kaneko ... Mitsuo Watanabe, Kanji's son
Nobuo Nakamura ... Deputy Mayor
Atsushi Watanabe ... Patient
Isao Kimura ... Intern
Masao Shimizu ... Doctor
Yûnosuke Itô ... Novelist
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Storyline

Kanji Watanabe is a civil servant. He has worked in the same department for 30 years. His life is pretty boring and monotonous, though he once used to have passion and drive. Then one day he discovers that he has stomach cancer and has less than a year to live. After the initial depression he sets about living for the first time in over 20 years. Then he realises that his limited time left is not just for living life to the full but to leave something meaningful behind... Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A big story of a little man which will grip your soul... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ikiru  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,590, 5 January 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$55,240, 28 September 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

In the last scene with Toyo (in the restaurant with the birthday party going on), the position of the bell on the mechanical bunny changes, even though neither actor has touched the bunny. See more »

Quotes

Novelist: Come on. Let's go reclaim the life you've wasted. Tonight it will be my pleasure to act as your Mephistopheles, but a beneficent one who won't ask for your soul.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Fountain (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo
(uncredited)
Written by Al Hoffman, Mack David, and Jerry Livingston
Performed by Dinah Shore
Heard in the background immediately after Watanabe and Kimura leave the striptease show
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not just a film, but an incredible learning experience
26 December 1998 | by See all my reviews

A quiet, but very moving film. Kanji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) is a clerk who has been living a dull, unsatisfying life working in the government's offices who is diagnosed with cancer and is given one year to live. He tries to enjoy his days by picking up a former co-worker (Miki Odagiri) and taking her out on the town. She finally convinces him that this is not the way to spend the rest of his life. He soon realizes that he has a strong desire to do something with his life so that it will not have been a total waste. Therefore he begins to work in cooperation with the people... accomplishing something that nobody in the office had the nerve to do before.

I consider Ikiru to be Kurosawa's first truly excellent film. The story moves along very low-key and we gradually realize the power and emotion that is in this great film. Roger Ebert said of Ikiru that it is one of the few films that can actually change the way you look at life after watching it.


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