8.1/10
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27 user 66 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 »

Photos

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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

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. 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 Century of Cinema: 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) See more »

User Reviews

 
dignity in disgrace
24 December 2011 | by CountZero313See all my reviews

Mizoguchi's empathy for female characters is legendary. The Life of Oharu is one outstanding example. One woman's journey from member of the imperial court to elderly streetwalker is narrated in exquisite, shimmering, painful style. Oharu (Kinuyo Tanaka) is seduced by a man below her station. Her crime is to love the man back unreservedly. That action becomes the catalyst for a series of degradations punctuated by false dawns, as Oharu's life spirals to rock bottom. And as bleak and depressing as that sounds, Mizoguchi's storytelling, combined with Tanaka's dignified portrayal, make this film cathartic, a tragedy with a small, life-affirming message at its heart. It is a cautionary tale to the follies of social mores, and the burden that women through the ages have to endure. More than that, it is a tale of one woman's dignity through the most humiliating of circumstances. Stunning.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »

Filming Locations:

Japan

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,921
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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