7.5/10
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9 user 38 critic

Death by Hanging (1968)

Kôshikei (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 8 December 1971 (USA)
A Korean man is sentenced to death by hanging, but he survives the execution. For the following two hours, his executioners try to work out how to handle the situation in this black farce.

Director:

Nagisa Ôshima
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kei Satô ... Prison warden
Do-yun Yu Do-yun Yu ... R
Fumio Watanabe ... Education Officer
Hôsei Komatsu ... District attorney
Rokkô Toura Rokkô Toura ... Doctor
Toshirô Ishidô Toshirô Ishidô ... Priest
Masao Adachi Masao Adachi ... Chief of guards
Masao Matsuda Masao Matsuda ... Secretary of the D.A.
Takashi Ueno Takashi Ueno ... Guard
Takao Usui Takao Usui
Daiji Ozeki Daiji Ozeki
Masayuki Hoshi Masayuki Hoshi
Shizuo Satô Shizuo Satô ... Guard
Nagisa Ôshima ... Narrator (voice)
Akiko Terayima Akiko Terayima
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Storyline

A Korean man is sentenced to death by hanging, but he survives the execution. For the following two hours, his executioners try to work out how to handle the situation in this black farce.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #798. See more »

Quotes

The convict: For a time I thought, that maybe I was guilty, somehow. But I remain innocent. Because I'm not R! A nation cannot make me guilty.
Prison warden: Well, R, with such ideas you're not allowed to live.
The convict: I know, that is why I admit it. For all Rs, including you I'll courageously admit to being R and I will die now.
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Connections

Referenced in Tokyo! (2008) See more »

User Reviews

 
Nagisa lays it on the line
15 November 2002 | by sharptongueSee all my reviews

Oshima is a director who usually leaves you in no doubt about what he thinks, but he goes all out here. This film is a strong polemic against the death penalty as practiced in Japan. The condemned man fails to die, and those in the death chamber panic and wonder what to do. After about five minutes of narration (by Oshima himself), the characters gear into action, using Oshima's chosen method : black farce. This is a very funny film, and all the more so because it confronts some very edgy stuff and often crosses the line to outrage. Oshima, as he often does, attacks Japan's sacred cows head on. As well as the death penalty, he deals with prejudice against Koreans, rape, politics, respect for authority and much more.

The acting is excellent, particularly the Korean who plays the condemned man. His calm poise provides an excellent balance to the mania of the officials around him, as they try to make him remember who he is and what he's done.

Strong stuff, warmly recommended.


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

8 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death by Hanging See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.96 : 1
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