6.8/10
69
1 user 1 critic

The Sands of Kurobe (1968)

Kurobe no taiyo (original title)
Kitagawa is an engineer charged with construction of a gigantic tunnel through the Japan Alps for the transportation of equipment in the building of the massive Kurobe Dam. The tunnel ... See full summary »

Director:

Kei Kumai
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toshirô Mifune ... Kitagawa
Yûjirô Ishihara ... Iwaoka
Osamu Takizawa Osamu Takizawa ... Otagaki
Takashi Shimura ... Ashimura
Shûji Sano ... Hirata
Jûkichi Uno Jûkichi Uno ... Mori
Ryutaro Tatsumi Ryutaro Tatsumi ... Genzo
Isao Tamagawa Isao Tamagawa ... Sayama
Takeshi Katô ... Kunikida
Sumio Takatsu Sumio Takatsu ... Ono
Eijirô Yanagi ... Fujimura
Akira Yamauchi Akira Yamauchi ... Tsukamoto
Akira Terao Akira Terao ... Kenichi
Eimei Nitani Eimei Nitani ... Odagiri
Masahiko Naruse Masahiko Naruse ... Kumada
Learn more

More Like This 

Red Lion (1969)
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Impersonating an Imperial Army officer by wearing a "red lion's mane", a poor servant returns to his village after 10 years of absence to end the village's suffering caused by corrupt ... See full summary »

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Shima Iwashita, Etsushi Takahashi
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Years after the death of legendary tea master Rikyu, his disciple Honkakubo attempts to resolve the mystery of the master's death. Years before: Sen Rikyu is a ceremonial tea master who ... See full summary »

Director: Kei Kumai
Stars: Eiji Okuda, Toshirô Mifune, Kinnosuke Nakamura
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Japan and Russia clash in what comes to be known as the Russo-Japanese War. An attempt by the Japanese fleet and army to take Port Arthur fails, and a Russian fleet bears down on the Sea of Japan.

Director: Seiji Maruyama
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yûzô Kayama
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sen Rikyu is a ceremonial tea master who advises warlord Hideyoshi in sixteenth-century feudal Japan. His daughter, the beautiful Lady Ogin, has an unrequited love for Lord Ukon, who has ... See full summary »

Director: Kei Kumai
Stars: Ryôko Nakano, Kichiemon Nakamura, Takashi Shimura
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man falls in love with the widow of a man he killed in a car accident. Eventually she falls in love with him in return.

Director: Mikio Naruse
Stars: Yûzô Kayama, Yôko Tsukasa, Mitsukô Kusabue
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A shrewd 16th Century samurai helps a daimyo expand his realm.

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yoshiko Sakuma, Kinnosuke Nakamura
Poppy (1935)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Based on Soseki Natsume's 1908 novel of the same title, Poppy is an ornately complicated story of desire and ambition. Fujio is beautiful, talented, well-heeled, and engaged to Munechika, a... See full summary »

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Daijirô Natsukawa, Ichirô Tsukida, Chiyoko Ôkura
Deep River (1995)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three Japanese pilgrims arrive in India. Miss Naruse is looking for Otsu, a Catholic priest, her lover ten years before; after time in France and Israel, he has come to Benares where he ... See full summary »

Director: Kei Kumai
Stars: Kumiko Akiyoshi, Eiji Okuda, Hisashi Igawa
Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During World War II, an American pilot and a marooned Japanese navy captain are deserted on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. There, they must cease their hostility and cooperate if they want to survive, but will they?

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Lee Marvin, Toshirô Mifune
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mohei is a wandering swordsman. He arrives in the city of Osaka, where the Toyotomi clan accepts him and comes to depend upon his courage and his battlefield skills. Those skills are sorely... See full summary »

Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Kyôko Kagawa, Yuriko Hoshi
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Following the detonation of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese military and the government clash over the demand from the Allies for unconditional surrender. Minister ... See full summary »

Director: Kihachi Okamoto
Stars: Seiji Miyaguchi, Rokkô Toura, Chishû Ryû
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Shinobugawa depicts the emerging love of a student, identified only as "I", for a young waitress named Shino.

Director: Kei Kumai
Stars: Gô Katô, Komaki Kurihara, Yasushi Nagata

Photos

Edit

Storyline

Kitagawa is an engineer charged with construction of a gigantic tunnel through the Japan Alps for the transportation of equipment in the building of the massive Kurobe Dam. The tunnel crosses an earthquake fault and Kitagawa is beleaguered not only by cave-ins and flooding, but by strife between management and the workers's union. Adding to Kitagawa's stress is the knowledge that as his attention is pulled inexorably toward the tunnel construction, his youngest daughter is dying from leukemia. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dying daughter | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 41st Academy Awards in 1969. See more »

User Reviews

 
Kumai's epic honors the history of civil engineering
9 December 2019 | by topitimo-829-270459See all my reviews

Only a few Japanese films come to mind that are as grandiose in scope as Kumai Kei's "Kurobe no taiyo" (The Sands of Kurobe, 1968). The spectacular film, that clocks in 3 hours and 16 minutes, was made to honor the generation that rebuilt Japan in the 1950's after the devastating experience of war. We are talking about building in the literal sense, as the film deals with the construction of a large tunnel under the Japanese alps. This tunnel is very difficult to build, as the area is located on a seismic zone where earthquakes can be caused by the smallest of mistakes by the building crew. Yet it's necessary, because the Japanese need to build a huge dam on the other side, and the tunnel is the only way to get the material to the construction site.

Some will naturally see this as a film that drags on, especially in the middle, which largely takes place in the dark tunnel. But for myself Kumai's diligent determination to depict every detail of the operation was something to admire and gaze in awe. You as the viewer can come in knowing nothing about how tunnels are built under mountains, and afterwards you know so much, that you can go make one yourself. There is narration, maps, time jumps and a large amount of characters, all because this film wants to be a half documentary, even while it sports the look of a large scale disaster movie.

Mifune Toshiro plays the engineer who is responsible for one of the sites, and Ishihara Yujiro is there too. As a side plot, Mifune's daughter is dying of leukemia. Ishihara has a troubled relationship with his own father, who is going insane, but used to be known as "the best tunnel digger in Japan". All over the film there are big emotions, since this film just refuses to tone things down. The characters are alright, though for me their operation was far more interesting.

"Kurobe no taiyo", which ended up being the Japanese submission for the Oscar race that year, is a film that demands your concentration, but also rewards it. The cinematography is gorgeous and the film has some fantastic aerial photography of the mountain range. You can practically breath the fresh mountain air while viewing this beautiful scenery. The tunnel on the other hand feels crowded and uncomfortable, as it is supposed to. The score for the film is also grand, and even catchy.

I would recommend this to people who enjoy epic 1960's films, maybe David Lean fans for instance. This is an uplifting narrative that will really hook some people in, like it did me.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

2 October 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chikadô no taiyô made See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed