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Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Sanshô dayû (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1955 (USA)
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

Writers:

Ogai Mori (short story "Sanshô dayû"), Fuji Yahiro (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kinuyo Tanaka ... Tamaki
Yoshiaki Hanayagi Yoshiaki Hanayagi ... Zushiô
Kyôko Kagawa ... Anju
Eitarô Shindô ... Sanshô dayû
Akitake Kôno Akitake Kôno ... Taro
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Masauji Taira
Ken Mitsuda Ken Mitsuda ... Prime Minister Fujiwara
Kazukimi Okuni Kazukimi Okuni ... Norimura
Yôko Kosono Yôko Kosono ... Kohagi
Kimiko Tachibana Kimiko Tachibana ... Namiji
Ichirô Sugai ... Minister of Justice
Teruko Ômi Teruko Ômi ... Nakagimi
Masahiko Tsugawa Masahiko Tsugawa ... Young Zushio (as Masahiko Kato)
Keiko Enami Keiko Enami ... Young Anju
Bontarô Akemi Bontarô Akemi ... Kichiji
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Storyline

In mediaeval 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. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A film of unparalleled beauty by the great Japanese Master Kenji Mizoguchi

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Legend of Bailiff Sansho See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
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

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Zushiô: [quoting his father] "Without mercy, man is not a human being."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Delicate woodcut prints come to life
5 June 2006 | by futures-1See all my reviews

"Sansho the Bailiff" (Japanese, 1954): Kenji Mizoguchi made an epic film from what was (apparently) a centuries-old Japanese morality tale. We watch a well-to-do family slowly disintegrate - not from events they cause, but those out of their control. How they each react, how they deal with the passing years and events, and how they find solutions (if any) are powerful, emotional, lessons in life. Can a half-century old Japanese film be useful to a contemporary American audience? Of course it can. Human issues of love, devotion, honor, greed, lust, hate, violence, sadness, and revenge are, if anything, in further need of consideration and dealing. To enhance these thoughts, the musical scoring is superb (I love classical Japanese music), the photography is in gorgeous black/gray/white with artful composing, the pacing is patient and more explanatory than many Japanese films (perhaps Mizoguchi had foreign audiences in mind – which I appreciate!), and I often felt like I was watching delicate woodcut prints come to life.


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