7.4/10
5,308
25 user 43 critic

The Eel (1997)

Unagi (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 21 August 1998 (USA)
A businessman kills his adulterous wife and is sent to prison. After the release, he opens a barbershop and meets new people, talking almost to no one except an eel he befriended while in prison.

Director:

Shôhei Imamura
Reviews
16 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôji Yakusho ... Takuro Yamashita
Misa Shimizu ... Keiko Hattori
Mitsuko Baishô Mitsuko Baishô ... Misako Nakajima
Akira Emoto Akira Emoto ... Tamotsu Takasaki
Fujio Tokita Fujio Tokita ... Jiro Nakajima
Shô Aikawa ... Yuji Nozawa
Ken Kobayashi Ken Kobayashi ... Masaki Saito
Sabu Kawahara Sabu Kawahara ... Seitaro Misato
Etsuko Ichihara Etsuko Ichihara ... Fumie Hattori
Tomorô Taguchi ... Eiji Dojima
Chiho Terada Chiho Terada ... Emiko Yamashita
Shinshô Nakamaru Shinshô Nakamaru
Sei Hiraizumi Sei Hiraizumi
Seiji Kurasaki Seiji Kurasaki
Toshirô Ishidô Toshirô Ishidô
Learn more

More Like This 

Black Rain (1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Life story of a woman born in poverty trying to succeed. Through her many schemes, she faces her ups and downs in a cyclical nature, fueled mostly by self-interest.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Emiko Aizawa, Setsuko Amamiya, Tomio Aoki
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto, Tonpei Hidari
Dr. Akagi (1998)
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

At the end of WWII, Japanese doctor Akagi searches for the cure for hepatitis in the prisoner-of-war camp.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Akira Emoto, Kumiko Asô, Jacques Gamblin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An engineer from Tokyo arrives on a drought-ridden tropical island to drill a well to power a nearby sugar mill. He meets the inbred Futori family, hated by the locals for breaking religious customs.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Chôichirô Kawarasaki, Hideko Okiyama
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A down-and-out businessman travels to a seaside town, where he meets a woman with unusual sexual powers.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baishô
Zegen (1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Mitsuko Baishô, Chun-Hsiung Ko
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the run.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako
Why Not? (1981)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Near the turbulent end of the Edo era, a man returning to Japan after exile in America searches for his wife and becomes swept up in the current of revolution in this incisive period drama from the great Shohei Imamura.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shigeru Izumiya, Kaori Momoi, Masao Kusakari
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young hoodlum decides to work for a criminal organization that is tearing itself apart.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Hiroyuki Nagato, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Masao Mishima
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While avoiding the mob and local authorities, a world-weary pornographer finds being a family man the most difficult as he wrestles with his own desires and afflictions.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Shôichi Ozawa, Sumiko Sakamoto, Keiko Sagawa
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A housewife living under her tyrannical husband has her life stressfully turned upside down after getting raped by a burglar.

Director: Shôhei Imamura
Stars: Masumi Harukawa, Kô Nishimura, Shigeru Tsuyuguchi
Edit

Storyline

White-collar worker Yamashita finds out that his wife has a lover visiting her when he's away, suddenly returns home and kills her. After eight years in prison, he returns to live in a small village, opens a barber shop (he was trained as a barber in prison) and talks almost to no-one except for the eel he "befriended" in prison. One day he finds the unconscious body of Keiko, who attempted suicide and reminds him of his wife. She starts to work at his shop, but he doesn't let her become close to him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Winner of the 1997 Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival tied with another title Taste of Cherry from Iran. See more »

Quotes

Jiro Nakajima: Is it bad to have such rumors about a guy on parole?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Especial Cannes: 50 Anos de Festival (1997) See more »

User Reviews

redemption,the chaotic path
15 August 1999 | by room337See all my reviews

I actually enjoyed the film a lot. Maybe it's not one of the most articulated films, but there was liveliness in it,and i think that's the reason the eel got cannes. The lives of misunderstood,isolated finds the peace with themselves in a remote country side, reminded me of Mediterriano a bit. The man's murder, suicidal heroine and her mad mother, a guy who is obsessed with UFO, which seems unexplainable and their lives are narrated in a messiest possible way. I think this film is not for analysis or for coming to conclusion, the director wants to show a utopia where misfits can be forgiven and find a harmony with the world, where a human communicates with an eel. And where people can have a chance to get redemption,,,


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

21 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Eel See more »

Filming Locations:

Sawara, Chiba, Japan See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,879, 23 August 1998

Gross USA:

$418,480

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$418,480
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Directors Cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed