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8.3/10
55,827
185 user 118 critic

Ikiru (1952)

A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa
Reviews
Top Rated Movies #123 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Takashi Shimura ... Kanji Watanabe
Shin'ichi Himori ... Kimura
Haruo Tanaka Haruo Tanaka ... Sakai
Minoru Chiaki ... Noguchi
Miki Odagiri ... Toyo Odagiri, employee
Bokuzen Hidari ... Ohara
Minosuke Yamada Minosuke Yamada ... Subordinate Clerk Saito
Kamatari Fujiwara ... Sub-Section Chief Ono
Makoto Kobori Makoto Kobori ... Kiichi Watanabe, Kanji's Brother
Nobuo Kaneko Nobuo Kaneko ... Mitsuo Watanabe, Kanji's son
Nobuo Nakamura Nobuo Nakamura ... Deputy Mayor
Atsushi Watanabe Atsushi Watanabe ... Patient
Isao Kimura Isao Kimura ... Intern
Masao Shimizu Masao Shimizu ... Doctor
Yûnosuke Itô Yûnosuke Itô ... Novelist
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Storyline

Kanji Watanabe is a civil servant. He has worked in the same department for 30 years. His life is pretty boring and monotonous, though he once used to have passion and drive. Then one day he discovers that he has stomach cancer and has less than a year to live. After the initial depression he sets about living for the first time in over 20 years. Then he realises that his limited time left is not just for living life to the full but to leave something meaningful behind... Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One of the Great Films of Our Time! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

9 October 1952 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Živeti See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,590, 5 January 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$60,239, 31 December 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toho Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Anand" (meaning Bliss), loosely adapted from Ikiru, ranks topmost in IMDB's list of top 250 Indian movies. India's National Film Awards chose it as the Best Feature Film in Hindi in the year 1971. In 2013, "Anand" was listed in Anupama Chopra's book 100 Films To See Before You Die. Whereas Ikiru is melancholic, "Anand" is cheerful. See more »

Goofs

In the last scene with Toyo (in the restaurant with the birthday party going on), the position of the bell on the mechanical bunny changes, even though neither actor has touched the bunny. See more »

Quotes

Novelist: Misfortune teaches us the truth. Your cancer has opened your eyes to your own life. People are fickle and shallow. We only realize how beautiful life is when we face death. And even then, few of us realize it. The worst among us know nothing of life until they die.
See more »

Connections

References Cinderella (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

J'ai Deux Amours
Music by Vincent Scotto
Lyrics by Georges Koger and Henri Varna
Performed by Josephine Baker
When entering in the bar with the long-faced man
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A cinematic tour de force
16 October 2003 | by Butch-HigginsSee all my reviews

"Ikiru" is supposedly one of Steven Spielberg's favourite films, and one can see the influence it's had on him not only in the sentimentality and the ultimate "feelgood factor" (which may be a little too extreme for some viewers, although the script never condescends), but visually, especially in the virtuoso sequence in which a reprobate leads our hero, a respectable and dull civil servant, on a whirlwind tour of Tokyo's frenzied nightlife - a masterpiece of camera placement and editing. With images throughout that will stay with you for a long time, and a terrific supporting performance by Miki Odagiri as a vivacious young "office lady", "Ikiru" is still an absolute knockout more than 50 years on.


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