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Onibaba (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 4 February 1965 (USA)
Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask.

Director:

Kaneto Shindô

Writer:

Kaneto Shindô
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Cast

Cast overview:
Nobuko Otowa ... Kichi's Mother
Jitsuko Yoshimura ... Kichi's Wife
Kei Satô Kei Satô ... Hachi
Jûkichi Uno Jûkichi Uno ... Samurai General
Taiji Tonoyama ... Ushi
Someshô Matsumoto Someshô Matsumoto ... Runaway Warrior A
Kentarô Kaji Kentarô Kaji ... Runaway Warrior B
Hosui Araya Hosui Araya ... Ushi's Follower
Fudeko Tanaka Fudeko Tanaka ... Old Woman
Michinori Yoshida Michinori Yoshida ... Samurai with Blood
Hiroyoshi Yamaguchi Hiroyoshi Yamaguchi ... Horse Riding Samurai A
Hiroshi Tanaka Hiroshi Tanaka ... Horse Riding Samurai B
Kanzô Uni Kanzô Uni ... Horse Riding Samurai C
Nobuko Shimakage Nobuko Shimakage ... Child
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Storyline

In the Fourteenth Century, during a civil war in Japan, a middle-aged woman and her daughter-in-law survive in a hut in a field of reed killing warriors and soldiers to trade their possessions for food. When their neighbor Hachi defects from the war and returns home, they learn that their son and husband Kichi died while stealing supplies from farmers. Soon Hachi seduces the young widow and she sneaks out of her hut every night to have sex with him. When the older woman finds the affair of her daughter-in-law, she pleads with Hachi to leave the young woman with her since she would not be able to kill the warriors without her help. However, Hachi ignores her request and continues to meet the young woman. When a samurai wearing a demon mask stumbles upon the older woman at her hut asking her to guide him out of the field, she lures him and he falls in the pit where she drops the bodies of her victims. She climbs down the hole to take his possessions and his mask, and she finds he is a ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most daring film import ever...from Japan!

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

4 February 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Onibaba See more »

Company Credits

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

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #226. See more »

Quotes

Woman: I'm not a demon! I'm a human being!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally cut in England when released in 1968, though the video releases are uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Atman (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Down in a hole.
27 February 2007 | by nikhil7179See all my reviews

"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

  • Nietzsche


The characters in Onibaba dwell in the bottom rung of Maslow's Pyramid.

Food, sex, shelter, survival - though not necessarily in that order.

Sexuality permeates every frame of this film. It is ever-present along with the oppressive heat and the marshland weeds.

The stark black and white cinematography perfectly captures the desolate mood.

The score – atonal free jazz backed by tribal rhythms - though completely anachronistic works surprisingly well.

One of the most fiercely primal depictions of the human condition on celluloid, Onibaba is a hauntingly erotic masterpiece.


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