7.6/10
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6 user 8 critic

Ballad of Orin (1977)

Hanare goze Orin (original title)
A blind traveling musician is abused and oppressed while she tours the country, even though the modern world imposes changes on people's behavior.

Director:

Masahiro Shinoda

Writers:

Keiji Hasebe (screenplay), Tsutomu Minakami (author-story) | 1 more credit »
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8 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shima Iwashita ... Orin
Yoshio Harada ... Big Man
Tomoko Naraoka Tomoko Naraoka ... Teruyo
Kirin Kiki ... Tama Ichise
Toshiyuki Nishida Toshiyuki Nishida ... Suketaro
Tôru Abe Tôru Abe ... Bessho
Keiko Nakamura Keiko Nakamura
Ako Tomizawa Ako Tomizawa
Rie Yokoyama Rie Yokoyama ... Kaneko
Jun Hamamura Jun Hamamura ... Saito
Takako Minekawa Takako Minekawa
Izumi Hara Izumi Hara ... Old woman
Kaoru Kobayashi ... Torazo
Taiji Tonoyama ... Mountain Man
Mansaku Fuwa Mansaku Fuwa ... Kosugi
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Storyline

A blind traveling musician is abused and oppressed while she tours the country, even though the modern world imposes changes on people's behavior.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

blindness | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ballad of Orin See more »

Filming Locations:

Joetsu, Niigata, Japan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hyôgen-sha, Toho Co. Ltd See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film apparently debuted in foreign theaters on January 21, 1977. Awards: Best Actress-Shima Iwashita (Kinema Jumpo): Best Actress-Shima Iwashita, Best Cinematography (Mainichi Film Concoures): Best Actress-Shima Iwashita, Best Cinematography (Japanese Academy Awards). See more »

Connections

References Sansho the Bailiff (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Available in DVD (non-US format)
12 January 2006 | by phawalshSee all my reviews

This is in my top 10 list of films. This is a beautiful, moving film. It is also probably one of the most tragic films I have seen. It got an inexplicably tepid review from Vincent Canby when it premiered in NYC back in 1977 or 1978, which perhaps explains why it was never widely distributed in the US. The film takes place during the first decades of the 20th century, following the story of Orin, blind from birth, from childhood on. The film is told largely from her perspective, from a woman's perspective, which is rare in film, especially Japanese films. The other reviewer is mistaken - she does not take her own life, but he is entirely correct that the film deserves a much, much wider audience than it has received, at least in this country.

More than 20 years after seeing this movie, and having searched for it for almost as long, I finally obtained a decent DVD with English subtitles from play-asia.com (Hong Kong). It is listed there as Hanare Goze Orin. It's rather expensive, but worth it, in my opinion. You'll need a region-free player.


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