Late Autumn (1960 film)

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Late Autumn
Late Autumn (1960 film) poster.jpg
Japanese film poster
Directed byYasujirō Ozu
Produced byShizuo Yamanouchi
Screenplay byKōgo Noda
Yasujirō Ozu
Based onLate Autumn by Ton Satomi
StarringSetsuko Hara
Yoko Tsukasa
Mariko Okada
Keiji Sada
Music byTakanobu Saitō
CinematographyYuharu Atsuta
Edited byYoshiyasu Hamamura
Distributed byShochiku Kinema Kenkyû-jo
New Yorker Films (United States)
Release date
13 November 1960
Running time
128 minutes

Late Autumn (秋日和, Akibiyori , lit. "A Calm Autumn Day") is a 1960 Japanese drama film directed by Yasujirō Ozu. It stars Setsuko Hara and Yoko Tsukasa as a mother and daughter, and is based on a story by Ton Satomi.

Late Autumn follows the attempts of three older men to help the widow of a late friend to marry off her daughter. The daughter is less than happy at the proposals, mainly because of her reluctance to leave her mother alone. The film was selected as the Japanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 33rd Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[1] While not one of the works for which Ozu is most known, Late Autumn is highly regarded by critics.


Three middle-aged friends and former college mates – Mamiya (Shin Saburi), Taguchi (Nobuo Nakamura) and Hirayama (Ryūji Kita) – meet up for the 7th memorial service of a late college friend, Miwa. Miwa's widow Akiko (Setsuko Hara) and 24-year-old daughter Ayako (Yoko Tsukasa) are also present. The three friends remark amongst themselves how good Akiko looks despite being in her forties.

The party chats and thinks that it is time for Ayako to get married. Taguchi tells them he has a prospective suitor for Ayako, but it later turns out the man already has a fiancée. Mamiya instead offers his employee, Goto (Keiji Sada), as another match, but Ayako confides privately in Akiko that she has no wish of getting married. Ayako, who lives alone with Akiko, is close to her mother, who teaches dressmaking.

Ayako meets Goto one day at Mamiya's office. During a hiking trip, a colleague offers to introduce him to Ayako again. Ayako and Goto begin dating, but Ayako is unwilling to get married because that will mean Akiko will live all alone. Ayako puts forward to Mamiya her theory that "romance and marriage could be separate". The three friends think that all this is an excuse and begin to speculate that Ayako will marry if Akiko remarries. The other two offer Hirayama, a widower, as Akiko's prospective remarriage partner. Hirayama warns them not to go ahead with their plan, but after discussing with his son to remarry, changes his mind.

Hirayama now approaches Taguchi and Mamiya for help. Before they can break the subject to Akiko, however, Mamiya tactlessly lets Ayako know about their plan. Thinking that her mother has known about this, an unhappy Ayako goes home to question her and then leaves for her colleague and friend Yuriko's (Mariko Okada) place in a huff. Yuriko, however, approves of Akiko's remarriage. She tells Ayako not to be selfish, which gains Ayako's displeasure.

Displeased, Yuriko confronts the three friends, and finds out the truth from them. Mamiya apologizes for their mishap; however, seeing their cause, Yuriko decides to help Hirayama. When Akiko and Ayako go for their last trip together, Akiko tells her daughter she has decided not to marry. She urges Ayako not to worry about her. With her assurance, Ayako marries Goto, leaving her mother to live alone.




Late Autumn has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[2] In a 1973 review, Nora Sayre of The New York Times praised the performances of Hara and Tsukasa and wrote, "Love is hardly mentioned when the subject of marriage arises. But enormous affection between parents and children, and among old friends, is revealed as it rarely is on screen: often, it's shown through the small jokes that intimates make at one another's expense."[3]

In 2010, Peter Bradshaw awarded the work a full five stars, writing that the work is "as tonally ambiguous and morally complex as anything he ever made."[4] In Time Out, Trevor Johnston wrote that "the film offers as much pure aesthetic pleasure as, say, Wong Kar-Wai, but it’s ultimately on a human level that it’s most affecting. [...] Hara's undemonstrative yet knowing half-smile in the final scene registers the inevitable paradox of loving and losing."[5] Critic Derek Malcolm lauded it as "a commentary on Japanese mores that [surpasses] nationality and [manages] universal appeal."[2]

Home media[edit]

In 2011, the BFI released a Region 2 Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray + DVD).[6] Included with this release is a standard definition presentation of A Mother Should be Loved.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  2. ^ a b "Late Autumn - Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Sayre, Nora (October 17, 1973). "Ozu's 'Late Autumn' Like a Day in the Sun:The Cast". The New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (January 28, 2010). "Film review: Late Autumn". The Guardian. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Johnston, Trevor (January 26, 2010). "Late Autumn (2010), directed by Yasujiro Ozu". Time Out. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Late Autumn: Dual Format Edition (Blu ray + DVD) Ozu, Yasujiro". Retrieved 4 September 2012. External link in |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]