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The Lower Depths

  • 1956
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • 119 mins
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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

The third, longest and most intense version of Maxim Gorky's claustrophobic play about slum dwellers is here transposed by Akira Kurosawa from Moscow to Edo, towards the end of the Tokugawa period. The action is confined to just two sets and the magnificent ensemble playing (he rehearsed for six weeks before the quick shoot) creates an unsentimental portrait of transitory lives, without hope. The ending is abrupt, when during a boisterous drinking session an announcement is made about the suicide of one of the group. A close-up, characteristic of the film's style, and another man says, "A pity just when the party was getting started". End credits.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Sutekichi, the thiefToshiro Mifune
Osugi, the landladyIsuzu Yamada
Rokubei, her husbandGanjiro Nakamura
Okayo, her sisterKyoko Kagawa
Kahei, the priestBokuzen Hidari

Crew

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DirectorAkira Kurosawa

Details

Languages
Japanese
Available on
video
Formats
Black and white
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