8.6/10
4,931
19 user 40 critic

The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959)

Ningen no jôken (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 14 December 1959 (USA)
A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan.

Director:

Masaki Kobayashi

Writers:

Zenzô Matsuyama (screenplay), Masaki Kobayashi (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

As a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist struggles to maintain his determination to keep his ideals.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Kokinji Katsura
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

His ideals challenged by life as a conscript in war-time Japan's military, a pacifist faces ever greater tests in his fight for survival.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Tamao Nakamura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Tsukasa, Gô Katô
Harakiri (1962)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita
Kwaidan (1964)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

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
Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Yoshiaki Hanayagi, Kyôko Kagawa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two-hundred million yen is up for grabs in a dying businessman's will. The businessman intends to will it to his 3 illegitimate children, but his associates scheme to take advantage of the situation.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Keiko Kishi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Sô Yamamura
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Through his unconscionable actions against others, a sociopath samurai builds a trail of vendettas that follow him closely.

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Yûzô Kayama
Black River (1957)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A love triangle develops between a benevolent student, his innocent girlfriend, and a cruel petty criminal, all as a point of diagnosis of a social disease that had Japan slowly succumbing to lawlessness during the post-War era.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Ineko Arima, Fumio Watanabe, Tatsuya Nakadai
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A group of rank-and-file Japanese soldiers are jailed for crimes against humanity, themselves victims of a nation refusing to bear its burdens as a whole.

Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Kô Mishima, Torahiko Hamada, Keiko Kishi
Tanin no kao (1966)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A businessman with a disfigured face obtains a lifelike mask from his doctor, but the mask starts altering his personality.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Mikijirô Hira, Kyôko Kishida
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Kaji
Michiyo Aratama ... Michiko
Chikage Awashima Chikage Awashima ... Tôfuku Kin
Ineko Arima ... Shunran Yô
Keiji Sada ... Kageyama
Sô Yamamura ... Okishima
Akira Ishihama Akira Ishihama ... Chin
Kôji Nanbara Kôji Nanbara ... (as Shinji Nanbara)
Seiji Miyaguchi Seiji Miyaguchi ... Kyôritsu Ô
Tôru Abe Tôru Abe ... Watarai Gunsô
Masao Mishima Masao Mishima ... Kuroki Shochô
Eitarô Ozawa Eitarô Ozawa ... Okazaki
Kôji Mitsui ... Furuya
Akitake Kôno Akitake Kôno ... Kôno Taii
Nobuo Nakamura ... Honsha Buchô
Edit

Storyline

In the World War II, the pacifist and humanist Japanese Kaji accepts to travel with his wife Michiko to the tiny Manchurian village Loh Hu Liong to work as supervisor in an iron ore mine to avoid to be summoned to the military service. Kaji works with Okishima (Sô Yamamura) and he implements a better treatment to the laborers and improves the mine production. When the feared Kempetai (The "Military Police Corps", the military police arm of the Imperial Japanese Army from 1881 to 1945) brings six hundred Chinese POWs to the mine, Kaji negotiates with their leaders expecting them to control their comrades. However the methods of Kaji upset the corrupt system in the site, and the foreman Furuya (Kôji Mitsui) plots a scheme to use the naive Chen (Akira Ishihama) to turn off the electrical power of the barbwire fences to allow the prisoners to escape. When seven prisoners are falsely accused of an attempt of fleeing, a cruel Kempetai sergeant uses his sword to behead the prisoners. When ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1940s | japanese | pow | chinese | ore mine | See All (39) »

Taglines:

An extraordinary picture of man's fate and man's hope...

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | Mandarin

Release Date:

14 December 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Human Condition I: No Greater Love See more »

Filming Locations:

Hokkaido, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Tatsuya Nakadai, a marathon screening of the entire nine-and-a-half-hour "Human Condition" trilogy is held once a year in Japan, and he has once or twice attended these screenings, which are always sold out. See more »

Goofs

At one point a Japanese guard begins to whip Kao, yet the motions he makes are just a flailing of his arms, visibly missing the actor. Kao retaliates by throwing a rock at the guard, but the rock never strikes the guard. However, the actor playing the guard overreacts as if he has been struck. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michiko: This isn't like you.
Kaji: Why?
Michiko: You're running away. Don't you want me?
Kaji: Of course I do.
Michiko: And I want you, too. Yet we can't marry-...
Kaji: How many times must I explain?
Michiko: Because you might be called up? I wouldn't care if it was the day after. Of course I'd cry. I'd cry bitterly. But happiness only lies in marrying the one you love.
Kaji: Alright. I'll take you back to my dormitory. You'll stay with me tonight. Alright?
Michiko: Yes, I'll go.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of the greatest anti-war movies of all time
17 May 2008 | by shemichaelsSee all my reviews

Kobayashi's "The Human Condition" is one of a handful of great anti-war movies. While Japanese film has confronted its own crimes of war more than other cinema, I am only familiar with one other Japanese movie which deals directly with the war & the plight of conscientious objectors: Kurosawa's "No Regrets for Our Youth". Many films deal with the futility of war: "Seven Samurai" & "Yojimbo" come immediately to mind. But "Human Condition" takes on the enormity of war, & the means by which everyone becomes complicit in its total corruption. The hero, though a Conscientious Objector, becomes a colonial occupier, an exploiter of slave labor, an employer of a madam who runs a camp of women & girls impressed into prostitution, & generally runs the gamut of crimes against humanity while trying to maintain his virtue & love's beauty.

Parts II & III also explore the brutality of the army toward its own soldiers, & the complete desecration of the ideals of the Russian Revolution & the cruelty of ordinary Chinese villagers.

"The Human Condition" should be ranked with "Grand Illusion", though what could be as lyrical as the Renoir film? If only this were require viewing in all military academies. If only it were required viewing for all lawmakers & the executive. Is that asking too much?


27 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 19 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed