8.2/10
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27 user 65 critic

The Life of Oharu (1952)

Saikaku ichidai onna (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 20 April 1964 (USA)
Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.

Director:

Kenji Mizoguchi

Writers:

Saikaku Ihara (novel), Kenji Mizoguchi | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kinuyo Tanaka ... Oharu
Tsukie Matsuura Tsukie Matsuura ... Tomo, Oharu's Mother
Ichirô Sugai ... Shinzaemon, Oharu's Father
Toshirô Mifune ... Katsunosuke
Toshiaki Konoe Toshiaki Konoe ... Lord Harutaka Matsudaira
Kiyoko Tsuji Kiyoko Tsuji ... Landlady
Hisako Yamane Hisako Yamane ... Lady Matsudaira
Jûkichi Uno Jûkichi Uno ... Yakichi Ogiya
Eitarô Shindô ... Kahe Sasaya
Akira Ôizumi ... Fumikichi, Sasaya's Friend
Kyôko Kusajima ... Sodegaki
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Kikuoji
Daisuke Katô ... Tasaburo Hishiya
Toranosuke Ogawa ... Yoshioka
Hiroshi Oizumi Hiroshi Oizumi ... Manager Bunkichi
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Storyline

A fifty-year-old prostitute, no longer able to attract men, looks back on her sad life. Once a lady-in-waiting at the imperial court at Kyoto, Oharu fell in love with, and became the lover of, a man below her station. They were discovered, and Oharu and her family were exiled. For Oharu there followed a life filled with one sorrow and humiliation after another. Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #664. See more »

Quotes

Katsunosuke: Lady Oharu, a human being - no, woman - can only be happy if she marries for love. Rank and money don't mean happiness.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits shown over Japanese artwork/water-colors. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seven Samurai: Origins and Influences (2006) See more »

User Reviews

 
A poor woman
27 April 2005 | by AtavistenSee all my reviews

It was sickening to witness how Ohara was treated by the noble men of high rank and even by her father. She is a strong and proud woman, but she has a series of misfortunes of things she could not very well control herself. Because of her looks, her pride and her birth she is put, mostly by force, into various agreements that are disgrading and she meets little compassion.

That said, as this is based on a novel by Iharu Saikaku, it has strong tendencies towards being epic in approach. This is not a bad thing, but it takes on being a fairytale almost instead of gaining credibility like say 'Donzoko' by Kurosawa. For emotional impact Mizoguchi is an absolute master however and this tragic tale could not be outdone by any other.


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

20 April 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of Oharu See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,921
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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