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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:

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

Ranked number 61 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018. 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

 
exceptionally sad tale of the evils of medieval Japanese society
8 July 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The story begins with the governor of a province being stripped of his position because he was too kind and thought foremost about the welfare of his people. This would upset the terror and repression used to control the people! His family is cast out of the land and it's unknown what the exact fate was of the kind governor. Not too long after that, the family is torn apart by bandits and the 13 and 8 year-old children are sold into slavery. Their mother, unknown to them, if forced into prostitution. Now if the movie only wallowed in this misery, I would have no doubt hated it. However, what is interesting is what the boy does 10 later when he finally escapes his slave master. His actions and his subsequent attempts to find his family make the movie well worth seeing. Yes, it is quite depressing but there are some good moments as well and the story kept my attention throughout.


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