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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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Edit

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 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 ... Young Anju
Bontarô Akemi Bontarô Akemi ... Kichiji
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sansho the Bailiff 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

Kenji Mizoguchi left the composer alone to do the music. He also did that before in his previous films Ugetsu Monogatari as much as Chikamatsu Monogatari. See more »

Quotes

Masauji Taira: [Speaking to his son Zushio on the verge of being exiled and separated from his family] Zushio, I wonder if you'll become a stubborn man like me. You may be too young to understand, but hear me out anyway. Without mercy, man is like a beast. Even if you are hard on yourself, be merciful to others. Men are created equal. Everyone is entitled to their happiness.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ballad of Orin (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A timeless masterpiece
24 September 2007 | by ron-chowSee all my reviews

The first time I saw this film was when I was in university. It impressed me greatly then. Watching it again recently invoked the same emotion - I was deeply saddened by the horrific acts one human can do to the other. And guess what, a century later the human race has not really advanced that much in this area.

While the film also highlights the noble side of us - compassion and mercy to the weak, maintenance of integrity amid suffering - it is the downside of it that gets me. I finished the movie feeling depressed, as I did several decades ago.

Super B/W photography, a good story, and masterly directing by Mizoguchi make this a classic film of all time. Find an evening when you yearn for artistic fulfillment, and yet are prepared to pay an emotional price for it. Highly recommended for the serious film buffs.


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