7 user 17 critic

Boy (1969)

Shônen (original title)
A young boy reluctantly aids his swindling father in a threatening scam.


Nagisa Ôshima


Tsutomu Tamura (screenplay)
4 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Fumio Watanabe ... Takeo Omura
Akiko Koyama ... Takeko Taniguchi
Toshi Amatsu Toshi Amatsu ... Toshio Omura (as Tetsuo Abe)
Tsuyoshi Kinoshita Tsuyoshi Kinoshita ... Peewee


A couple Takeo Omura and Takeko Kaniguchi travel across Japan with their two sons, the eldest, Toshio, who is biologically his but not hers. They are con artists, whose scam is for her to jump alongside moving vehicles feigning being hit and injured, while he, playing the outraged husband, negotiates with the worried driver for an unofficial cash settlement in return for not calling the police reporting the motorist's "guilt". She often does sustain minor injuries from the ruse. She believes that they will continue doing this work until they have enough money to settle down in one place, where he will get a legitimate job. However, he wants to continue the scam indefinitely as he, a veteran, claims that injuries he sustained during the war would prevent him from obtaining that legitimate work. When Toshio reaches age ten in 1966, they enlist him in the con, he now playing the accident victim, with Takeko now playing the concerned mother role. They even manufacture real bruises on ... Written by Huggo

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The yellow cap Toshio wears sold in Japan for schoolchildren to wear so drivers could see them in traffic. See more »


While the boy is wandering through a village it is night time, at the ocean inlet it's dawn, but the following scenes are at night time again. See more »


Referenced in Century of Cinema: 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) See more »

User Reviews

Interesting and unpleasant.
9 November 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Have you ever seen a film you know is well made but also is painful and unpleasant to watch? Well, if you, try watching "Boy" ("Shônen") from director Nagisa Ôshima. It's not the least bit enjoyable to watch, though I admire the quality of the production.

While I didn't know it when I watched the film, "Boy" is apparently based on a true story about some horrible people. It focuses on a young boy (about age 10) and his pathetic life. His father is a lazy, violent jerk. His step-mother is very, very dependent and puts up with the violence. But worse, she 'works' to earn money for the family--money earned by faking accidents by walking in front of cars and then shaking down the drivers for quick settlements. Eventually, these lovely parents get the boy into the act--and he soon becomes bumped and bruised all over because of these falls. To avoid detection, they move about Japan like nomads. To cope with all this, the boy has an active fantasy life but he also seems very depressed and lost.

As you noticed above, the plot is pretty awful. But, the film is made in a manner that seems quite real and pulls the viewer in to the sad tale. However, you really DON'T connect with the people in the film--perhaps a weakness of the movie. Well made but awful.

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Release Date:

9 April 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boy See more »

Filming Locations:

Akita, Japan See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White (tinted)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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