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The Gate of Youth (1975)

Seishun no mon (original title)
Mainly the story of Shinsuke and his stepmother, ranging from Shinsuke's infanthood to his mid-teens. Coal workers and the mines dominate nearly every aspect of the life of the characters. ... See full summary »

Director:

Kirio Urayama

Writers:

Akira Hayasaka, Hiroyuki Itsuki (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka ... Shinsuke, as a teenager
Tomohiro Tanabe Tomohiro Tanabe ... Shinsuke - aged 10
Kenji Matsuda Kenji Matsuda ... Shinsuke, aged 6
Haruhiko Urayama Haruhiko Urayama ... Shinsuke - aged 3
Tatsuya Nakadai ... Yuki, Shinsuke's father
Sayuri Yoshinaga Sayuri Yoshinaga ... Shinsuke's stepmother
Shinobu Ôtake Shinobu Ôtake ... Ori-eh, as a teenager
Rie Yamazaki Rie Yamazaki ... Ori-eh - as little girl
Toshie Kobayashi Toshie Kobayashi ... Seki
Akira Kobayashi Akira Kobayashi ... Goro
Masumi Harukawa Masumi Harukawa ... Geisha
Kazunaga Tsuji Kazunaga Tsuji ... Nagata
Susumu Fujita Susumu Fujita ... Yabe Tora
Chôichirô Kawarasaki Chôichirô Kawarasaki ... Kaneyama, Korean man
Hisashi Igawa
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Storyline

Mainly the story of Shinsuke and his stepmother, ranging from Shinsuke's infanthood to his mid-teens. Coal workers and the mines dominate nearly every aspect of the life of the characters. Shinsuke's father dies while bravely using dynamite to rescue a group of trapped Korean miners. Several older men attempt to help he and his mother cope, including a kind Korean and a Harley-riding yakuza. Written by Sharptongue

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 January 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gate of Youth See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remade as Seishun no mon: Chikuhô hen (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
More like a miniseries
28 July 2002 | by sharptongueSee all my reviews

This film was made shortly before the advent of the miniseries and, had it been made later, probably would have been treated so.

Sustaining interest over three hours is a tough task, and there is about half an hour of waste here. The opening fifteen minutes could have been cut - it's a confusing and largely irrelevant potted history. For the rest of the movie, pauses are made to highlight big historical events, which use stock footage. There is also a dorky narrator who pops up at inappropriate moments. I don't think this kind of framing really helps the film, because the film becomes more watchable the further things get away from these pauses.

That's pretty much all the bad news. If you can get past the baffling and muddled first fifteen or twenty minutes, then the rest is well worthwhile. The story pretty much follows Shinsuke from infancy to teenage, with his stepmother looming as the most important character. And they pack quite a lot into the remaining two and a half hours. His father is killed in a heroic mine rescue. His mother becomes close to and is wooed by a Korean man, risking ostracism. The father had a sworn enemy Goro, with whom he fought a duel, who became his friend during the mining accident, and became an important father figure to Shinsuke. The girl next door, Ori-eh, decides she'll marry Shinsuke when he grows up but the boy and his mother leave town just as the little girl reaches puberty.

The acting and production values are uniformly excellent. The script is sometimes a little sloppy, and there are occasional silly slips in direction, such as comic speeding up of a baseball game, which falls flat.

If a half-hour had been judiciously clipped out, this would be a great film, instead of just pretty good.


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