8.2/10
5,047
27 user 62 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

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two geisha sisters lead a hard life in the Gion district of Kyoto. After one of them feels obliged to support a bankrupt businessman, the other sister sets up various schemes to get rid of him.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Isuzu Yamada, Yôko Umemura, Benkei Shiganoya
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa
Ugetsu (1953)
Drama | Fantasy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyôko Kagawa, Eitarô Shindô
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The personal tales of various prostitutes who occupy a Japanese brothel.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Machiko Kyô, Aiko Mimasu, Ayako Wakao
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kôkichi Takada, Ryôtarô Kawanami
Yôkihi (1955)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Sô Yamamura
Late Spring (1949)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka
Early Summer (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Setsuko Hara, Chishû Ryû, Chikage Awashima
Uwasa no onna (1954)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tomoemon Otani, Yoshiko Kuga
Gion bayashi (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Michiyo Kogure, Ayako Wakao, Seizaburô Kawazu
Oyû-sama (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Shinnosuke is introduced to Shizu as a prospective marriage partner, but he falls in love with her widowed sister Oyu. Convention forbids Oyu to marry because she has to raise her son as ... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Nobuko Otowa, Yûji Hori
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, which was director Kenji Mizoguchi's dream project, was severely under-financed, and the production was forced to use a warehouse instead of a regular sound stage. This warehouse happened to be located near railways, and each time a train passed by, they had to stop shooting, which made the shooting of the film even more difficult with the director's obsessive use of long, continuous, uninterrupted takes. The same warehouse was also used for Josef Von Sternberg's film 'The Saga of Anatahan'. 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 Gossip Girl: The Empire Strikes Jack (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Why Did I Wait To See This?
11 August 2006 | by chris-2512See all my reviews

I finally saw Life of Oharu at the Ontario Cinematheque in Toronto last night and what an amazing film it was.

I don't know why I held out on Mizoguchi for so long. I think it's because I watched a lot of Ozu in the day and expected more of the same heavily restrained, obliquely symbolic style which is often as alienating as it is inventive. I couldn't have been further off the mark. Mizoguchi's style is fluid and assured like Hitchcock and Bresson. He also injects a warmth of spirit and shows a genuine interest in storytelling which is often absent in much of Ozu's ouevre.

The Story of Oharu is a treatise on how women are economically exploited in a patriarchal society. This is probably one of the greatest 'women's films' ever made. It ranks above 'Breaking The Waves' and Sirk's 'Imitation of Life'. No small feat!! If you like stories that actually say something about the world in which we live, I would strongly recommend this film. It's a masterpiece of world cinema. I am definitely going to see more Mizoguchi.


21 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed