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The Burmese Harp (1956)

Biruma no tategoto (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Music, War | 28 April 1967 (USA)
In the War's closing days, when a conscience-driven Japanese soldier fails to get his countrymen to surrender to overwhelming force, he adopts the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk.

Director:

Kon Ichikawa

Writers:

Michio Takeyama (novel), Natto Wada
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rentarô Mikuni ... Captain Inouye
Shôji Yasui ... Mizushima
Jun Hamamura ... Ito
Taketoshi Naitô ... Kobayashi (as Takeo Naito)
Shunji Kasuga Shunji Kasuga ... Maki
Kô Nishimura ... Baba (as Akira Nishimura)
Keishichi Nakahara Keishichi Nakahara ... Takagi
Toshiaki Itô Toshiaki Itô ... Hashimoto
Hiroshi Hijikata Hiroshi Hijikata ... Okada
Tomio Aoki ... Oyama
Norikatsu Hanamura Norikatsu Hanamura ... Nakamura
Sanpei Mine Sanpei Mine ... Abe
Takashi Koshiba Takashi Koshiba ... Shimizu
Tomoko Tonai Tomoko Tonai
Tokuhei Miyahara Tokuhei Miyahara ... Nagai
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Storyline

Mizushima is a soldier in the Japanese army in Burma in World War II. He's a good soldier and frequently plays his harp to entertain his fellow soldiers. When the war comes to an end, he is asked by the British to go into the mountains to try and convince a Japanese troop to surrender. Given only 30 minutes to convince them, Mizushima is unsuccessful - they would rather die with honor - and the British attack. Deeply affected by what has happened, he becomes a Buddhist monk, traveling the countryside burying the remains of Japanese soldiers. He is unable however to rejoin his brothers-in-arms. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected by the Vatican in the "values" category of its list of 45 "great films." See more »

Goofs

The modern harp (with its pedal changes and its consequent ability to make changes of harmony, in particular)that is played throughout on the film's soundtrack does not match the much more basic instrument shown in the film. See more »

Quotes

Subtitles: [Last lines] The soil of Burma is red, and so are its rocks!
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Connections

Remade as The Burmese Harp (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Hanyuu no Yado
(Japanese Version of 'Home Sweet Home')
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User Reviews

 
This Film Touches Deep, One of The Best Ever
15 February 2003 | by talas1See all my reviews

The grainy black and white can't hide the beauty of this film. Luscious and dealing with the deepest human feelings of war and death and rebirth. This movie is one of the all time greatest ever made. If it doesn't touch your soul, you're missing out and must be numb, cause the acting and the passion and the deep feelings the whole cast puts into their roles is musical in it's beauty. The lush settings and the burmese culture stand out as a slice of history we shouldn't miss.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English | Burmese

Release Date:

28 April 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burmese Harp See more »

Filming Locations:

Burma See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,748
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nikkatsu See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (part one) | (part two)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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