7.4/10
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4 user 8 critic

Bitter Spirit (1961)

Eien no hito (original title)
| Drama | 1961 (USA)
A young woman is forced by circumstance into a loveless marriage while still in love with another. This episodic tale follows their story through three decades of bitter conflict which engulfs their children and those around them.

Director:

Keisuke Kinoshita
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Hideko Takamine ... Sadako
Keiji Sada ... Takashi
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Heibei
Nobuko Otowa ... Tomoko, Takashi's wife
Akira Ishihama Akira Ishihama ... Yutaka, Takashi's son
Yukiko Fuji Yukiko Fuji ... Naoko, Sadako's daughter
Kiyoshi Nonomura Kiyoshi Nonomura ... Rikizo, Takashi's brother
Yoshi Katô Yoshi Katô ... Sojiro, Sadako's father
Yasushi Nagata Yasushi Nagata ... Heizaemon, Heibei's father
Torahiko Hamada Torahiko Hamada ... Mr. Koshinuma
Masakazu Tamura Masakazu Tamura ... Eiichi, Sadako's son
Masaya Totsuka Masaya Totsuka ... Morito, Sadako's son
Eijirô Tôno ... Policeman
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Storyline

Heibei, the son of a wealthy landowner, returns home from the war in 1937 wounded in the leg and permanently disabled. He lusts after and thinks he loves Sadako, the daughter of a tenant farmer on his family's property. Sadako is in love with and engaged to Takashi, another soldier who is still off in the war. Heibei has his father blackmail Sadako's family into an arranged marriage between himself and Sadako, and when she refuses, he rapes her. With nowhere now to go, Sadako marries Heibei, but for the next 24 years, the roots of the loveless marriage poison everyone involved. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un amor inmortal See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shochiku Ofuna See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 34th Academy Awards in 1962. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Love Story (Not Really)
11 July 2008 | by crossbow0106See all my reviews

When you have the pairing of Tatsuya Nakadai and Hideko Takamine, you have magic. This absorbing drama spans 29 years of a relationship between Heibei (Nakadai) and Sadako (Takamine) in which they more or less despise each other. The relationship was built on a lie from the beginning as Heibei, returning home from war a semi-cripple (he needs a cane) tells Sadako that her boyfriend Takashi (Keiji Sada), who was still at war, was probably killed. Obviously, he wants Sadako for himself. He rapes her and a pregnancy happens. Takashi comes back not wounded and finds out and vows they will flee together, but this never happens. So, in five distinct chapters, you see this couple's marriage as what it really is: Filled with resentment, regret and overall enmity. There is not one chuckle in this film (in other words, its not over the top like "The War Of The Roses"). However, its so well acted by all three principal actors and it does not have a dull moment. Its about so many things. Mr. Kinoshita wrote and directed, doing a great job. Again, not a fun film, but for a fan of Nakadai, Takamine or even Mr. Sada, it is fairly essential viewing. I recommend it.


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