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The Lower Depths (1957)

Donzoko (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1 October 1957 (Japan)
In a Japanese slum, various residents play out their lives, dreaming of better things or settling for their lot. Among them is a man who pines for a young woman but is stymied by her deceptive family.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sutekichi the Thief
... Osugi the Landlady
... Okayo, Osugi's Sister
Ganjirô Nakamura ... Rokubei, Osugi's Husband
... Tonosama - the former Samurai
... The Actor
... Osen the Prostitute
Nijiko Kiyokawa ... Otaki the Candy-Seller
... Yoshisaburo the Gambler
... Tomekichi the Tinker
Haruo Tanaka ... Tatsu
Eiko Miyoshi ... Asa, Tomekichi's Wife
... Kahei the Pilgrim
Atsushi Watanabe ... Kuna
Kichijirô Ueda ... Shimazo the Police Agent
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Storyline

In medieval Japan, aging Rokubei, his younger wife of four years Osugi and her uncle run a tenement complex at the bottom of a cliff, the complex which from the naked eye at the top of the cliff looks like nothing more than a rubbish heap. The tenants are a group of down-and-outers with some who operate on the far side of the law. Nonetheless, the tenants are close knit community in wallowing in their collective misery, those who care who know their lives will never get better as long as they stay there. The landlords have no compassion for the tenants, they mockingly only stating that the tenants will be given a favorable standing in a future life for any good deeds done around the tenement. The recent arrival of Kahei, a mysterious elderly man, affectionately referred to as Grandpa, who spins tales of the unknown, provides at least hope that there is a better life out there somewhere. Sutekichi, a thief who arguably is the leader among the tenants, and Osugi are carrying on an ... Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

1 October 1957 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Lower Depths  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Akira Kurosawa: [weather] In Kurosawa's films, heavy wind is usually used to convey the atmosphere of emotional chaos and disorder, which is why the wind is heard all throughout the film. After the plot's climax, there's a long rainy scene with a somber mood. See more »

Quotes

Rokubei, Osugi's Husband: [to Sutekichi] Can I open the door?
Yoshisaburo the Gambler: Might as well open Pandora's box.
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Connections

Version of The Lower Depths (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unusual Kurosawa, but still a strong movie
7 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

This movie is less easily accessible than other movies by Akira Kurosawa. None of the samurai honor, swordfighting action or visual beauty of his more well known efforts, Still, if you give yourself the time to view and appreciate it, it is a strong, involving movie with better staying power than most of what hits the silver screen in a typical season.


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