7.4/10
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25 user 44 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
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16 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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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 ... Jiro Nakajima
Show Aikawa ... Yuji Nozawa (as Shô Aikawa)
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
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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 »
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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?
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Connections

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

User Reviews

Flawed but interesting
5 May 1999 | by gilliSee all my reviews

This film deals with the theme of faith, its loss, its recovery. It has strong images, as usual in Imamura's films. It has also a well thought out plot development. But... it hints at directions that are never fully explored. There is a suggestion that the main character is insane. There are hallucinations. Keiko's behavior is also a little obscure at times. But as the core of the movie is melodrama, surreal aspects are only hinted at. That leaves a slight sensation of unachievement.


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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 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.96 : 1
See full technical specs »

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