6.6/10
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In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

Ai no korîda (original title)
NC-17 | | Drama, Romance | 1 April 1977 (USA)
A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end.

Director:

Nagisa Ôshima

Writer:

Nagisa Ôshima
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Popularity
3,439 ( 210)
4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuya Fuji ... Kichizo Ishida
Eiko Matsuda ... Sada Abe
Aoi Nakajima Aoi Nakajima ... Toku
Yasuko Matsui Yasuko Matsui ... Tagawa Inn Manager
Meika Seri Meika Seri ... Matsuko (Yoshidaya maid)
Kanae Kobayashi Kanae Kobayashi ... Old geisha Kikuryû
Taiji Tonoyama ... Old Beggar
Kyôji Kokonoe ... Teacher Ômiya
Naomi Shiraishi Naomi Shiraishi ... Geisha Yaeji
Shinkichi Noda Shinkichi Noda
Komikichi Hori Komikichi Hori ... Mitsuwa Geisha
Kikuhei Matsunoya Kikuhei Matsunoya ... Hôkan jester
Akiko Koyama Akiko Koyama ... Mansaki Geisha
Yuriko Azuma Yuriko Azuma ... Mitsuwa Geisha
Rei Minami Rei Minami ... Mitsuwa Geisha
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Storyline

Based on a true story set in pre-war Japan, a man and one of his servants begin a torrid affair. Their desire becomes a sexual obsession so strong that to intensify their ardor, they forsake all, even life itself. Written by Allen Brown <browna@ohsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No one under 17 admitted See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan | France

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 April 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Realm of the Senses See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (2000 re-release) | (DVD) | (final) | (reconstructed version) (R-rated) (reconstructed)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first non-pornographic film to feature scenes of fellatio and an erect penis. See more »

Quotes

Kichizo: You want to make love all the time, huh?
Sada Abe: You don't think it's wrong, do you?
Kichizo: I think it's wonderful. You're beautiful.
Sada Abe: I was afraid of not being like others. I was so worried about it, I even went to see a doctor. He said I was sensitive where sex was concerned.
Kichizo: Sensitive? I hope it's incurable. Because I adore your oversensitivity.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original version ran 108 minutes. Producer Anatole Dauman received Oshima's permission to recut the film, resulting in a shorter 102-minute edit. This version has been distributed theatrically in some countries (such as France) and is available on video in Australia, the UK, the United States, and France. The French DVD includes both versions (via seamless branching), while the U.S. Criterion DVD features the cut footage as an extra. The PAL releases run 97 minutes. This shorter version makes the following changes:
  • An early scene in which Sada has sex with Ishida while playing a shamisen has been cut by about a minute and a half. In the original version, Sada seemingly goes unconscious and Ishida checks for her heartbeat.
  • A brief shot (12 seconds) of Ishida and Sada on a bridge has been added to the scene in which the couple goes out walking at night.
  • A later scene (in which the geishas assault one of their own with a dildo) is cut by 14 seconds to remove a shot of Ishida and Sada's faces in mid-copulation.
  • An entire two-minute scene is deleted about an hour into the film. This scene features Sada and Ishida having sex behind a thin screen, while Ishida speaks of the "darkness" he feels inside Sada.
  • The scene in which Sada first strangles Ishida is cut by just over one minute. In the short version, the scene ends when Ishida starts coughing and Sada releases his throat. In the original version, Ishida asks her to resume, which she does (only to stop when he begins coughing again).
  • The scene in which Ishida becomes drowsy while having sex with Sada is edited differently. The original version has slightly different dialogue and has an additional minute of footage where Ishida actually does fall asleep for a short time.
  • The scene in which Sada wakes up after her final night with Ishida is cut by one minute. The original version shows Sada lying on the floor and apparently panicking, walking around the room and opening doors for no obvious reason. The short version cuts straight from Sada waking up to the shot of her standing over Ishida's body.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A story about sexual obsession.
28 February 2002 | by edwjooleeSee all my reviews

This movie was quite a shocker when my friend and I rented it a few years back. It was clear from the first explicit sex scene that this movie was going to be different from the types of movies my friend and I were generally used to.

After having viewed it recently again, and this time focusing more on the intrinsic value of the film rather than just on the shocking images alone like I had the first time I viewed it, I was surprised to find a dark, disturbing psychological drama about sexual obsession that really held my interest. It is interesting to note how the male and female leads, who both seem emotionally sterile to the world around them and are barely communicative towards one another in the traditional and normal sense, are inseparably bonded by a strange and sexual attraction they have for eachother. It is a fatal attraction of the darkest kind I've ever witnessed in a movie.

This movie is definitely not for all tastes or who are easily offended by graphic scenes of sex. But for those adventurous souls looking for something different and interesting, I recommend this film. Nagisa Oshima's other films of interest are Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and the recent Taboo.


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