6.6/10
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116 user 92 critic

In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

Ai no korîda (original title)
NC-17 | | Biography, Drama, Horror | 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.

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Cast

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

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Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Realm of the Senses  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was not submitted for British classification until 1989 and the cinema release was then delayed until censor James Ferman was satisfied that the movie would not be liable for prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act. Previous showings had been limited to cinema clubs and even then the infamous scene where the young boy's penis is yanked by Sada had been removed entirely. For the 1989 submission Ferman used an optical zoom to reframe the offending shot and the film, by now deemed not obscene and safe from prosecution by a QC, was finally passed uncut for UK cinema in March 1991. See more »

Quotes

Sada Abe: Now what am I supposed to do?
Kichizo: You mustn't ask me. Aren't you the bride?
Sada Abe: But how should I know? I've never been married before.
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Connections

Featured in X-Rated (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well, if nothing else, it has guts...
7 January 1999 | by See all my reviews

Sure, everyone (or most everyone) has heard about "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" and its remarkable statement about human sexuality. However, it is unlikely that as many people have heard about this film, which in a totally different way makes perhaps as profound a statement about that topic.

In fact, if you see an uncut version of this film, you are in essence watching pornography. That is, you are watching incredibly graphic sexual content that simply would not be allowed in an American film. I won't spell it out for you, but I will say this...do you know what they can't show you in American movies? This one shows that. And quite a bit more. This is not the type of sex you would see in a film like "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" or "Bliss" or some of the other decent American films about sex (though I can't think of any others). This is more like the sex shown in "Last Tango in Paris." The characters are so self-destructive and dangerous that the sex (one of the most inherent of all human practices) becomes an expression of their inhumanity. This is not easy stuff. But if you are willing to find an uncut version and experience the true power of this film, you may find yourself moved by the things you see.

This film blurs the line between pornography and art, and I believe that it stays one inch to the art side, but decide for yourself. Either way, I think that it is about time for American films to truly explore that distinction.


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