7.9/10
7,279
34 user 75 critic

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)

A fictionalized account in four chapters of the life of celebrated Japanese writer Yukio Mishima.

Director:

Paul Schrader

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Patriotism (1966)
Drama | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Noh dramatization of the suicides of Lt. Shinji Takeyama and his wife Reiko. After participating in a failed 1936 coup and being ordered to execute his friends, he bids his wife an intimate farewell and commits harakiri.

Directors: Masaki Dômoto, Yukio Mishima
Stars: Yukio Mishima, Yoshiko Tsuruoka
Blue Collar (1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When three workers try to steal from the local union, they discover the corruption of the union instead and decide to blackmail them.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto
Light Sleeper (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drug dealer reconsiders his profession when his boss plans to go straight and an old flame reappears.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Dana Delany
Hardcore (1979)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter who is making porno films in California's porno pits.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Season Hubley
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A Los Angeles male escort, who mostly caters to an older female clientèle, is accused of a murder which he did not commit.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A minister of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer
Affliction (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A deeply troubled small town cop investigates a suspicious hunting death while events occur that cause him to mentally disintegrate.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Ogata Ken Ogata ... Yukio Mishima (segment "November 25, 1970") / Narrator
Masayuki Shionoya Masayuki Shionoya ... Morita (segment "November 25, 1970")
Hiroshi Mikami ... Cadet #1 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Junya Fukuda Junya Fukuda ... Cadet #2 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Shigeto Tachihara Shigeto Tachihara ... Cadet #3 (segment "November 25, 1970")
Junkichi Orimoto Junkichi Orimoto ... General Mashita (segment "November 25, 1970")
Naoko Ôtani Naoko Ôtani ... Mother (segment "Flashbacks")
Gô Rijû Gô Rijû ... Mishima, age 18-19 (segment "Flashbacks")
Masato Aizawa Masato Aizawa ... Mishima - age 9-14 (segment "Flashbacks")
Yuki Nagahara Yuki Nagahara ... Mishima, age 5 (segment "Flashbacks")
Kyûzô Kobayashi Kyûzô Kobayashi ... Literary Friend (segment "Flashbacks")
Yuki Kitazume Yuki Kitazume ... Dancing Friend (segment "Flashbacks")
Haruko Katô Haruko Katô ... Grandmother (segment "Flashbacks")
Yasosuke Bando Yasosuke Bando ... Mizoguchi (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Hisako Manda Hisako Manda ... Mariko (segment "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion")
Edit

Storyline

A fictionalized account in four chapters of the life of celebrated Japanese author Yukio Mishima. Three of the segments parallel events in Mishima's life with his novels (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoko's House, and Runaway Horses), while the fourth depicts the actual events of the 25th Nov. 1970, "The Last Day". Written by Nick Lopez <ntlopez@fas.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gay | homosexual | japan | author | zen | See All (283) »

Taglines:

On November 25, 1970, Japan's greatest author Yukio Mishima commited an act that shocked the literary world...

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

20 September 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mishima See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,378, 15 September 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$437,547

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$518,842
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

General Mashita wiped the sword with tissue paper, not cloth. See more »

Quotes

Reporter No. 2: Who would you like to be?
Yukio Mishima: Elvis Presley.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Yukio Mishima is acknowledged to have been a real person, but his acts have been fictionalized by writers. Other persons and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons and events is unintentional. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2001 DVD and 1998 LaserDisc releases by Warner Bros. do not have Roy Scheider's narration; they instead have an uncredited narrator. This was an error when choosing sound elements for these releases. The uncredited narration was a temp track that was made during the editing process as a guide when cutting the film together. The 2001 DVD release does, however, feature the Japanese-language narration track by Ken Ogata . Criterion's releases of the film have both English narration tracks - the temp narration made during editing, and Roy Schieder's version, along with Ken Ogata's Japanese-language narration. See more »

Connections

References Performance (1970) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Like A Boy At A Window Or A Sword In A Sheath
11 August 2008 | by loganx-2See all my reviews

The only pure life, is one that ends with a signature in blood.

So says Mishima anyway, a young sheltered boy who becomes a celebrity author. The life of one of Japans most celebrated literary voices, is told from three perspectives, his life just before he and four members of his private army take over a Japanese military base and commit ritual suicide(shown in color), flashbacks(shown in black and white), and scenes from his novels(shown in a kind of dreamy Technicolor set design somewhere between traditional Noh Theater and "the Wizard Of Oz". These stories are often told at the same time, but are edited to reinforce, the slow fusing of Mishima's life with his fictions, until the end(or the beginning) when like the ancient samurai he so admires, he will be at a balance of pen and sword (when his words and actions are the same, and he is a full and "pure" being).

Paul Schrader wrote the screen play for "Taxi Driver", and directed "Cat People"(a bizarre erotic horror film, which left strange impressions on me as a boy), and in Mishima, he comes closest to making a really excellent film.

Whats interesting is to watch the poet, the homosexual, the shy and awkward man with a low body image who overstates his Tuberculosis to get of of WW2 (of which he seems forever ashamed), become a body building, samurai obsessed, a-sexual, media phenomena, all the while still writing prolific amounts of novels, plays, and short stories.

A short and sweet version is to say Mishima has no father, and becomes obsessed with masculinity, beauty, sex and self destruction, in some tragic attempt to feel connected to something bigger than himself, that he was always missing. Watching him with his fellow suicidal cadets, you see him happy, delivering his big paternal speech, giving orders, and loving the control...until the speech itself, the point where pen and sword meet? Of course, this ignores the subtlety of the story telling craft here which makes this transformation so natural and remarkable.

Though the story, fascinating at times, really isn't this movies greatest success. The cinematography, performances, editing,music(by Philip Glass), and set designs, are really what make this worth seeing, and more than a traditional bio-pic.

One day I will pick, up a Mishima book, he does seem to have an ear for prose, and for staging ideas, but for now I'm satisfied with the film.

Those interested in Japanese Literature, and post-war culture, should check out. Fans of inventive combinations of facts and fictions, should enjoy as well.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed