8.3/10
64,463
209 user 125 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.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
Reviews
Top Rated Movies #111 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Takashi Shimura ... Kanji Watanabe
Shin'ichi Himori ... Kimura
Haruo Tanaka ... Sakai
Minoru Chiaki ... Noguchi
Miki Odagiri ... Toyo Odagiri, employee
Bokuzen Hidari ... Ohara
Minosuke Yamada Minosuke Yamada ... Subordinate Clerk Saito
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Sub-Section Chief Ono
Makoto Kobori Makoto Kobori ... Kiichi Watanabe, Kanji's Brother
Nobuo Kaneko ... Mitsuo Watanabe, Kanji's son
Nobuo Nakamura ... Deputy Mayor
Atsushi Watanabe Atsushi Watanabe ... Patient
Isao Kimura Isao Kimura ... Intern
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Doctor
Yûnosuke Itô ... Novelist
Learn more

More Like This 

Yojimbo (1961)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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
High and Low (1963)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai
Rashomon (1950)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori
Ran (1985)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada
Tokyo Story (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city, but receive little attention.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki
Harakiri (1962)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

When a ronin requesting seppuku at a feudal lord's palace is told of the brutal suicide of another ronin who previously visited, he reveals how their pasts are intertwined - and in doing so challenges the clan's integrity.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita
Sanjuro (1962)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiju Kobayashi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Metropolis (1927)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
Seven Samurai (1954)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

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
Edit

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Frivolous human beings who only contemplate the meaning of life when suddenly faced with death. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Hideo Oguni, one of the three main writers, originally envisioned Takashi Shimura's character as being a yakuza (gangster) as opposed to a government bureaucrat. 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

Tatsu Watanabe, Kiichi's Wife: My husband thinks all men are as debauched as he is.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Have You Seen My Movie? (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

J'ai Deux Amours
Music by Vincent Scotto
Lyrics by Georges Koger and Henri Varna
Performed by Josephine Baker
When entering in the bar with the long-faced man
See more »

User Reviews

 
The most moving and human film I have ever seen.
21 October 2002 | by will_butlerSee all my reviews

I can safely say that I have seen no finer film than Kurosawa's true masterpiece, Ikiru. The story of a dying petty bureaucrat in 1950's Japan, Ikiru is as uncompromisingly honest and beautiful a film as has ever been made on the subject of life. Kurosawa elevates a story that could have been simple melodrama to the level of masterwork with a genuine love of his characters, and with an incredible technical direction. The film's structure accentuates and deepens its many, many lessons on life, and the performances, including a heartbreakingly earnest turn by Shimura are all flawless.

In short, Ikiru is easily one of the greatest works committed to film, and no discerning film aficionado should avoid experiencing it. Had Kurosawa directed only this film, it would still be enough to include him in the pantheon of the greatest storytellers who ever lived. Fortunately for us, it is simply the pinnacle of a staggeringly amazing career. It is the absolute definition of a 10/10 film.


121 of 140 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 209 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

25 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ikiru See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,149, 29 December 2002

Gross USA:

$60,239

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$90,773
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed