The Idiot (1951 film)
Original Japanese poster showing Toshirō Mifune (left), Masayuki Mori (centre) and Setsuko Hara (right)
|Directed by||Akira Kurosawa|
|Produced by||Takashi Koide|
|Written by||Akira Kurosawa
|Based on||The Idiot by
|Music by||Fumio Hayasaka|
|Editing by||Akira Kurosawa|
|Release dates||23 May 1951 (Japan)
30 April 1963 (US)
|Running time||166 minutes|
The Idiot (白痴 Hakuchi ) is a 1951 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa.
After narrowly escaping death during efforts in a recent war, Kameda returns to Japan from Okinawa, where he has been confined to an asylum. Because he is subject to seizures of epilepsy, he is considered to be mentally ill. During his journey home, he becomes acquainted with the wealthy Akama. Inadvertently, the two fall in love with the same woman, Taeko; in addition, Kameda is attracted to Ayako, another woman who returns his affection. Kameda soon realizes that he prefers Taeko and is disheartened to find that she is another man's mistress. He offers her money in return for her love, but she throws the money into a fire and gives herself to him. Akama learns of the affair, resulting in a quarrel between him and Kameda. Realizing that he has lost Taeko, Akama stabs her, and both men go mad with grief.
- Masayuki Mori as Kinji Kameda, the idiot
- Toshiro Mifune as Denkichi Akama
- Setsuko Hara as Taeko Nasu
- Yoshiko Kuga as Ayako
The film is based on the novel The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and was filmed in black and white at an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. This was Kurosawa's second film for the Shochiku studio, after the previous year's Scandal.
Originally intended to be a two-part film with a running time of 265 minutes, the film was severely cut at the request of the studio, against Kurosawa's wishes, after a single poorly received screening of the full-length version. When the re-edited version was also deemed too long by the studio, Kurosawa sardonically suggested the film be cut lengthwise instead. According to Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, there are no existing prints of the original 265-minute version. Kurosawa would return to Shochiku forty years later to make Rhapsody in August, and, according to Alex Cox, is said to have searched the Shochiku archives for the original cut of the film to no avail.
"Of all my films, people wrote to me most about this one... ...I had wanted to make The Idiot long before Rashomon. Since I was little I've liked Russian literature, but I find that I like Dostoevsky the best and had long thought that this book would make a wonderful film. He is still my favourite author, and he is the one — I still think — who writes most honestly about human existence."—Akira Kurosawa
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Idiot (film).|
- The Idiot at the Internet Movie Database
- The Idiot (1951 film) at the Japanese Movie Database (Japanese)
- The Idiot at the TCM Movie Database
- The Idiot at allmovie
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