8.2/10
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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 »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Edit

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 Akira Ôizumi ... Fumikichi, Sasaya's Friend
Kyôko Kusajima Kyôko Kusajima ... Sodegaki
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Kikuoji
Daisuke Katô Daisuke Katô ... Tasaburo Hishiya
Toranosuke Ogawa ... Yoshioka
Hiroshi Oizumi Hiroshi Oizumi ... Manager Bunkichi
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

20 April 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life of Oharu See more »

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is Jacques Rivette's favorite film. 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 Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a masterpiece
1 April 2005 | by rbiko-1See all my reviews

I cannot agree with the reviewer who commented that Mizoguchi does not have the aesthetic sensibility of Kurosawa or Ozu. In fact, he appears to me to be the true master of Japanese cinema. 'Oharu' is a marvellous achievement - a compassionate, beautiful account of a quite astonishing fall from privilege and grace into destitution and despair. It is unremittingly bleak and yet due to Mizoguchi's genius and Kinuyo Tanaka's luminous portrayal of the unlucky Oharu, it is a spiritually compelling work, with sheer artistry and simple human empathy competing for our attention in every take. Breathtaking film-making of the highest quality.


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