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Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Suna no onna (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 25 October 1964 (USA)
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3:05 | Trailer

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

Writers:

Kôbô Abe (novel), Kôbô Abe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eiji Okada ... Entomologist Niki Jumpei
Kyôko Kishida ... Woman
Hiroko Itô Hiroko Itô ... Entomologist's wife (in flashbacks)
Kôji Mitsui
Sen Yano Sen Yano
Ginzô Sekiguchi Ginzô Sekiguchi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Dunham Robert Dunham ... ? (rumored)
Kiyohiko Ichihara Kiyohiko Ichihara
Hideo Kanze Hideo Kanze
Hiroyuki Nishimoto Hiroyuki Nishimoto
Tamotsu Tamura Tamotsu Tamura
Edit

Storyline

Jumpei Niki, a Tokyo based entomologist and educator, is in a poor seaside village collecting specimens of sand insects. As it is late in the day and as he has missed the last bus back to the city, some of the local villagers suggest that he spend the night there, they offering to find him a place to stay. That place is the home of a young woman, whose house is located at the bottom of a sand pit accessible only by ladder. He later learns that the woman's husband and child died in a sandstorm, their undiscovered bodies buried somewhere near the house. The next morning as he tries to leave, he finds that the ladder is gone - he realizing that the ladder he climbed down was a rope ladder which is anchored above the pit - meaning that he is trapped with the young woman as the walls of the pit are sand with no grip. He also realizes that this entrapment was the villagers and the young woman's plan for him to stay there permanently to be her helper in the never-ending task of digging out ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most provocative picture ever made. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

25 October 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Woman in the Dunes See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raquel Welsh bought the rights in the mid-70's but she never managed to bring it to the screen. See more »

Goofs

The beard of teacher Jumpei is not growing, despite him even complaining about no opportunity to shorten it. See more »

Quotes

Entomologist Niki Jumpei: Come on! We can just pretend!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Music for the Movies: Tôru Takemitsu (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slow pacing, yet intensly gripping!
16 July 2001 | by smakawhatSee all my reviews

What is heralded as a classic piece of Japanese cinema and I suppose a rave at Cannes during it's time, Woman In the Dunes is a great film but certainly not to everyones tastes.

A man who is searching for a unique insect in a sandy dessert area ends up trapped in a sandpit where a young woman lives. It becomes apparant that while the man can not escape the woman decides this is her future and that there is little she can do but accept it.

The film is an old black and white film, and many a times it is hard to see what is going on. The story is slow paced, and there is a lot of confusion through much of the film as to why the characters are in this 'unusual' situation. However, I completely got into it and was absorbed by the man who was felt trapped like an animal, and the woman who was accepting of her fate and somewhat comfortable. Also the shots of the dunes are spectacular, the film feels totaly claustrophobic, and it's one of this films which you keep asking yourself every 5 minutes, "How the heck did the film this!?".

But because of its slow nature and somewhat snail pacing and payoff many might not like it. Too bad.

Rating 8 out of 10.


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