7.4/10
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I Live in Fear (1955)

Ikimono no kiroku (original title)
An aging Japanese industrialist becomes so fearful of nuclear war that it begins to take a toll on his life and family.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Kiichi Nakajima
Takashi Shimura ... Domestic Court Counselor Dr. Harada
Minoru Chiaki ... Jiro Nakajima
Eiko Miyoshi Eiko Miyoshi ... Toyo Nakajima
Kyôko Aoyama Kyôko Aoyama ... Sue Nakajima
Haruko Tôgô Haruko Tôgô ... Yoshi Nakajima
Noriko Sengoku Noriko Sengoku ... Kimie Nakajima
Akemi Negishi ... Asako Kuribayashi
Hiroshi Tachikawa Hiroshi Tachikawa ... Ryoichi Sayama
Kichijirô Ueda Kichijirô Ueda ... Mr. Kuribayashi father
Eijirô Tôno ... Old man from Brazil
Yutaka Sada ... Ichiro Nakajima
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Okamoto
Ken Mitsuda Ken Mitsuda ... Judge Araki
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Yamazaki, Yoshi's husband (as Gen Shimizu)
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Storyline

Kiichi Nakajima, an elderly foundry owner, is so frightened and obsessed with the idea of nuclear extermination that his family decides to have him ruled incompetent. Nakajima's fervent wish is for his family to join him in escaping from Japan to the relative safety of South America. Harada, a civil volunteer in the case, sympathizes with Nakajima's conviction, but the old man's irrational behaviour prevents the court from taking his fears seriously. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

25 January 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What the Birds Knew See more »

Filming Locations:

Toho Studios, Tokyo, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company 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

Toshiro Mifune was 35 years old when he played the role of a 70 year old. See more »

Quotes

Kiichi Nakajima: [seeing the sun from his window] Oh! The Earth is burning!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rhapsody in August (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Somewhat underrated
5 November 2005 | by counterrevolutionarySee all my reviews

Based on reviews I had read, I was expecting either a facile ban-the-bomb message film, or a story about greedy relatives trying to have an old man committed so they can get his money.

I should have known better. Part of Kurosawa's genius in his great middle period (1950-1965) is that he refuses to insist on anything. He fairly presents a series of events and invites us to decide what, if anything, they mean.

Everyone in this film has a point. No one here is really a villain. Even those who are jerks (notably the second son, Jiro) are really trying to do the right thing. And the film reminds me a little of THE CAINE MUTINY in that it very artfully moves our sympathies in one direction for most of the film before presenting us with events that make us wonder if we were wrong.

Toshiro Mifune gives a fine performance as Nakajima, but to tell the truth, I wish Kurosawa had given the role to Takashi Shimura, not only because I think Shimura would have played the role even better, but because it would have given him one more tour-de-force leading role in a Kurosawa film, coming directly after IKIRU and SEVEN SAMURAI. Granted, though, that such a move probably would have caused problems with both Toho and Mifune.


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