7.5/10
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Dodes'ka-den (1970)

Dodesukaden (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 17 October 1974 (USA)
Various tales in the lives of Tokyo slum dwellers, including a mentally deficient young man obsessed with driving his own commuter trolley.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Akira Kurosawa (screenplay), Hideo Oguni (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoshitaka Zushi Yoshitaka Zushi ... Roku-chan
Kin Sugai Kin Sugai ... Okuni
Toshiyuki Tonomura Toshiyuki Tonomura ... Taro Sawagami
Shinsuke Minami Shinsuke Minami ... Ryotaro Sawagami
Yûko Kusunoki Yûko Kusunoki ... Misao Sawagami
Junzaburô Ban Junzaburô Ban ... Yukichi Shima
Kiyoko Tange Kiyoko Tange ... Mrs. Shima
Michio Hino Michio Hino ... Mr. Ikawa
Keiji Furuyama Keiji Furuyama ... Mr. Matsui
Tappei Shimokawa Tappei Shimokawa ... Mr. Nomoto
Kunie Tanaka ... Hatsutaro Kawaguchi
Jitsuko Yoshimura ... Yoshie Kawaguchi
Hisashi Igawa ... Masuo Masuda
Hideko Okiyama Hideko Okiyama ... Tatsu Masuda
Tatsuo Matsumura ... Kyota Watanaka
Edit

Storyline

An anthology of overlapping vignettes exploring the lives of a variety of characters who happen to live in a suburbial shantytown atop a rubbish dump: The boy Roku-chan lives in a fantasy world in which he is a tram conductor. In his fantasy world, he is both the tram and the tram driver and follows a set route and schedule through the dump, reciting the refrain "Dodeska-den", "clickety-clack", mimicking the sound of his vehicle. Ryotaro, a hairbrush maker by trade, is saddled with supporting many children whom his unfaithful wife Misao[c] has conceived in different adulterous affairs, but is wholeheartedly devoted to them. A pair of drunken day laborers (Masuda and Kawaguchi) who engage in wife-swapping, only to return to their own wives the next day as though nothing has happened. A stoic, bleak man named Hei is frequented by Ocho who appears to be his ex-wife, and he watches emotionless as she takes care of his domestic chores. Shima, the man with the tic, is always defending his ... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

17 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dodes'ka-den See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The drawings shown toward the end of the film weren't by Akira Kurosawa. He usually used his own paintings, but he didn't think they'd feel right or childish enough, so he had some children draw some paintings that are the ones ultimately shown in the finished picture. See more »

Quotes

Beggar: We forgot about the swimming pool. Let's make one.
Beggar's Son: Oh, yes, let's.
Beggar: One you'd like. I'm glad you're talking. Everything will be all right. The worst is finally over. Children are really very strong.
Beggar: [continues] A swimming pool is good. It'll be in the lawn. White tiles in the middle of evergreens. Still, filling and draining it will be hard. The place is on a hill. We'll need a huge water tank in case of water shortages. And the drainage problem... To drain a pool full of water, a small drainpipe...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Beauty (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Sound of the Streetcar
18 January 2010 | by jcwardSee all my reviews

The title is onomatopoeic, the sound of a streetcar clacking on the rails. It is metaphoric for all that the people who live in the dump cannot have. The misery of those people is illustrated by the passing streetcar which represents the relatively unobtainable rich life of the middle class. The pathos of the little boy and his beloved yet sadly insane father is most touching. This was Kurosawa's first film in colour and he uses beautifully shocking hues, colours seen only in dreams. The movie is surreal and surpassing in beauty. The compassion for humanity is the underling force, but as always, Kurosawa is focused on capturing the beauty of the film. It is a masterwork by a genius of cinema.


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