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The Lower Depths (1957)

Donzoko (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1 October 1957 (Japan)
In a Japanese slum, various residents play out their lives, dreaming of better things or settling for their lot. Among them is a man who pines for a young woman but is stymied by her deceptive family.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Maxim Gorky (play), Akira Kurosawa | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Sutekichi the Thief
Isuzu Yamada ... Osugi the Landlady
Kyôko Kagawa ... Okayo, Osugi's Sister
Ganjirô Nakamura Ganjirô Nakamura ... Rokubei, Osugi's Husband
Minoru Chiaki ... Tonosama - the former Samurai
Kamatari Fujiwara ... The Actor
Akemi Negishi ... Osen the Prostitute
Nijiko Kiyokawa Nijiko Kiyokawa ... Otaki the Candy-Seller
Kôji Mitsui ... Yoshisaburo the Gambler
Eijirô Tôno ... Tomekichi the Tinker
Haruo Tanaka Haruo Tanaka ... Tatsu
Eiko Miyoshi Eiko Miyoshi ... Asa, Tomekichi's Wife
Bokuzen Hidari ... Kahei the Pilgrim
Atsushi Watanabe Atsushi Watanabe ... Kuna
Kichijirô Ueda Kichijirô Ueda ... Shimazo the Police Agent
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Storyline

In medieval Japan, aging Rokubei, his younger wife of four years Osugi and her uncle run a tenement complex at the bottom of a cliff, the complex which from the naked eye at the top of the cliff looks like nothing more than a rubbish heap. The tenants are a group of down-and-outers with some who operate on the far side of the law. Nonetheless, the tenants are close knit community in wallowing in their collective misery, those who care who know their lives will never get better as long as they stay there. The landlords have no compassion for the tenants, they mockingly only stating that the tenants will be given a favorable standing in a future life for any good deeds done around the tenement. The recent arrival of Kahei, a mysterious elderly man, affectionately referred to as Grandpa, who spins tales of the unknown, provides at least hope that there is a better life out there somewhere. Sutekichi, a thief who arguably is the leader among the tenants, and Osugi are carrying on an ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

1 October 1957 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lower Depths See more »

Filming Locations:

Toho Studios, Tokyo, Japan

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The entire set was built at a 75 degree angle, making the housing structure look dilapidated and in disrepair. See more »

Quotes

Tonosama - the former Samurai: Hey, gramps, you're quite the scoundrel, aren't you?
Kahei the Pilgrim: Never judge a book by its cover.
See more »

Connections

Version of Nachtasyl (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not his best, still good
15 January 2004 | by rbverhoefSee all my reviews

Compared to 'Rashomon', 'Ikiru', 'The Seven Samurai', 'Yojimbo' or 'Ran' this movie is not a big deal. If you don't think too much about other movies made by director Akira Kurosawa, one of the greatest film makers of all time, this movie is actually very good. It works as a drama and probably even more as a comedy.

May be story isn't that interesting. Some poor men and women, thieves and beggars, live together. The landlord's wife Osugi (Isuzu Yamada) and her sister Okayo (Kyôko Kagawa) love the same man, the thief Sutekichi. He is played by Kurosawa's favorite actor Toshirô Mifune. We see some parts of the other lives, most of them are very unhappy, and then an old man arrives. Although he doesn't bring happiness, he does bring some wisdom to the place.

Like I said, really interesting it is not, but there are some good things here. The movie has some surprises, especially around the old man, and some dramatic events do happen. For me the comedy parts were great. When a lot of people are drunk, fighting and insulting, it is kind of hilarious. Well acted and directed this is not Kurosawa's greatest, but it is definitely a good movie.


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