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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
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Storyline

Episodes from the lives of a group of Tokyo slum-dwellers: Rokkuchan, an intellectually disabled boy who brings meaning and routine to his life by driving an imaginary streetcar; children who support their parents by scrounging or by tedious and ill-paying endeavours; schemers who plot or dream of escaping the shackles of poverty. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Akira Kurosawa's first color film and his last film with a final full-screen 1.33:1 aspect ratio. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Roku-chan: I know I often ask this, but please listen to me, dear Buddha. Please make my mother smarter.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Beauty (1999) See more »

User Reviews

 
beautiful/tragic character study
10 July 2010 | by gerold-firlSee all my reviews

Dodes'ka-den is the monotonous sound of the trolley clickety-clacking down the rails; the mindless drone of a brain damaged or retarded "trolley freak" acting out his repetitive fantasy in the Tokyo city dump where he lives with his long-suffering mother; and, a cinematic masterpiece from Kurosawa.

The film doesn't have a traditional plot, it's a snapshot of the lives of a strange ensemble of characters who live in the dump. (In much of the third world today, municipal dumps are inhabited by poor people who scavenge trash to make their living. It wasn't that long ago that the same was true in the US, by the way. In the late 1800's the NYC dump was home to a population of desperate scavengers too.) Kurosawa does his usual brilliant job of creating a full spectrum of characters, except that here most of them are damaged and dysfunctional. Kurosawa is loved for his portrayals of honor, courage, and heroism. Some find it more difficult to appreciate his unblinking examination of loss, failure, wickedness and despair. This film lays bare some of the dark corners of the human heart, and presents the full spectrum of human reality, warts and all - but with an emphasis on the warts.

It's not a dark film nonetheless. These tragic blighted lives are shown with zen clarity and humor. We see a cross-section of human psychology, both good and bad, and the genius of Kurosawa makes it clear that each of us share the feelings and foibles of these Tokyo dregs.


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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 »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$981
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Company Credits

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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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