7.7/10
9,926
97 user 85 critic

Shall We Dance? (1996)

Shall we dansu? (original title)
PG | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 11 July 1997 (USA)
Trailer
1:21 | Trailer

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A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.

Director:

Masayuki Suo

Writer:

Masayuki Suo
55 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôji Yakusho ... Shohei Sugiyama (as Koji Yakusho)
Tamiyo Kusakari Tamiyo Kusakari ... Mai Kishikawa
Naoto Takenaka ... Tomio Aoki
Eri Watanabe Eri Watanabe ... Toyoko Takahashi (as Eriko Watanabe)
Yu Tokui Yu Tokui ... Tokichi Hattori
Hiromasa Taguchi Hiromasa Taguchi ... Masahiro Tanaka
Reiko Kusamura Reiko Kusamura ... Tamako Tamura (as Raiko Kusamura)
Hideko Hara Hideko Hara ... Masako Sugiyama
Hiroshi Miyasaka Hiroshi Miyasaka ... Macho
Kunihiko Ida Kunihiko Ida ... Teiji Kaneko
Amie Toujou Amie Toujou ... Hisako Honda
Ayano Nakamura Ayano Nakamura ... Chikage Sugiyama
Katsunari Mineno Katsunari Mineno ... Keiri-kachô
Tomiko Ishii Tomiko Ishii ... Haruko Haraguchi
Maki Kawamura Maki Kawamura ... Eiko Miyoshi
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Storyline

Shohei Sugiyama has attained all that he has wanted in life. But he is still depressed and unhappy. One day, he gathers up the courage to sign up for dancing lessons. He hopes they will rid his depression and help him get his life back together. Written by Robert Krzanowski <stonedpsycho@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's an overworked accountant. She's an accomplished dancer. Passion is about to find two unlikely partners.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

11 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shall We Dance? See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,106, 13 July 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,676,677, 23 January 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (USA) (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the first scene, a man's shoe in close-up plunges into a black pool in the street. This symbolizes the world renowned Ballroom Dancing Competition in Blackpool, England, referenced later in the film. See more »

Quotes

Shohei Sugiyama: At my age, it's embarrassing to say so, but every day I feel so alive.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Different prologue: In the beginning of the Japanese version, a voice-over introduces the history and meaning of ballroom dancing in European culture and explains "enjoyed by people of all ages, it is a healthy diversion". The prologue of the US release explains the reserved mannerisms of Japanese culture and that ballroom dancing is considered something like a scandalous pasttime there. See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: Remembering Gene Siskel (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Shall We Dance
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Taeko Ohnuki
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A subtle and intricate film
6 July 2004 | by joshL1See all my reviews

I don't like "grade inflation" but I just had to give this a 10. I can't think of anything I didn't like about it. I saw it last night and woke up today thinking about it. I'm sure that the Hollywood remake that someone told me about, with J Lo and Richard Gear, will be excellent, but this original Japanese version from 1996 was so emotional and thought-provoking for me that I am hard-pressed to think of any way that it could be improved, or its setting changed to a different culture.

A story I found worth watching, and with o fist-fight scenes or guns going off or anything of the sort! Imagine that!

All the characters seemed well-developed, ... even non-primary characters had good character-development and enjoyable acting, and the casting seemed very appropriate.

It's always hard to find a good movie-musical in our day and age, and perhaps this doesn't quite qualify (there is plenty of learning how to dance, but no singing) but I really think that Gene Kelly and others who championed a place for dance in our lives would have thought so very highly of this film and the role of dance in helping to tell a story about a middle aged man, successful with a family in Japan, looking for something... he knows not precisely what.

To the team of people in Japan who contributed to this film, thank you for creating and doing it.


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