8.4/10
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62 user 75 critic

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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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kinuyo Tanaka ... Tamaki
Yoshiaki Hanayagi ... Zushiô
Kyôko Kagawa ... Anju
Eitarô Shindô ... Sanshô dayû
Akitake Kôno Akitake Kôno ... Taro
Masao Shimizu ... Masauji Taira
Ken Mitsuda Ken Mitsuda ... Prime Minister Fujiwara
Kazukimi Okuni Kazukimi Okuni ... Norimura
Yôko Kosono ... Kohagi
Kimiko Tachibana Kimiko Tachibana ... Namiji
Ichirô Sugai ... Nio, old escaped slave
Teruko Ômi Teruko Ômi ... Nakagimi
Masahiko Tsugawa Masahiko Tsugawa ... Young Zushio (as Masahiko Katô)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kenji Mizoguchi initially intended to center the film around Sansho, the Slavelord. However, the film ended up with the sad story of Zushio and Anju as its narrative, dramatic center. See more »

Quotes

Taro: [to Zushio] I found that humans have little sympathy for things that don't directly concern them. They're ruthless. Unless those hearts can be changed, the world you dream of cannot come true. If you wish to live honestly with your conscience, keep close to the Buddha.
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Connections

Referenced in The Thin Red Line (1998) See more »

User Reviews

 
Luminous
23 November 2002 | by allan825See all my reviews

Luminous...painterly...haunting...devastating...in terms of both substance and style, a cinematic achievement of the very highest order. Like all great works of art, it is incomparable, although it would not be misleading to place it in the company of the very best of Renoir, Ford, and Kurosawa. It has the same kind of compassionate humanism, high-caliber storytelling, and effortless-seeming mastery of the medium...the same generosity.

I prefer this film even to the great (and much better-known) Ugetsu. And I know now why Welles once said that Mizoguchi "can't be praised enough, really." I hope one day this film will be as well known as it deserves to be.


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sansho the Bailiff See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,267
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Daiei Studios See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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