Hitori musuko (The Only Son) (1936)

Hitori musuko (The Only Son)


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Movie Info

A good-natured mother gives up everything to ensure her son's education and future.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Yasujiro Ozu
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 17, 2010
Criterion Collection



as Otsune Nonomiya

as Okubo
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Hitori musuko (The Only Son)

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

Ozu distills a lifetime of silent misunderstandings and muffled frustrations in a painful succession of false smiles and showy courtesies ...

Full Review… | May 11, 2015
New Yorker
Top Critic

... the level of disappointment and despair in this film is unusual and devastating.

Full Review… | August 11, 2010
Parallax View

It's the noted director's first talkie and one of his best signature family dramas.

Full Review… | July 30, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Hitori musuko (The Only Son)


you can already see the technical prowess of ozu's technique in this early film. the film was shot well and the story deeply moving. the film is held back slightly by the emptiness of the materialism of the culture that drives the idea of success, and the dialogue was a bit dry at moments, but the undertones of the relationships of the characters were crafted well by ozu. overall a great film.

danny d

Super Reviewer

Ozu's first talkie is a bittersweet precursor to Tokyo Story. In it a windowed mother gives up everything she has for her son's education. When she visits him 13 Years later in Tokyo, she discovers that he has not become the successful man he wanted to be but is instead a poor night school teacher. Gradually they each have to come to terms with life's disappointments as well as redefine their concept of success. The silence and the mundane conversations as well as a scene at a movie theater highlight the generational distance between the mother and the son. The film is much more sober and less talky compared to Ozu's later films while the acting is more expressive. Another noteworthy aspect of the film is that the pillow shots are unusually lengthy. A devastating masterpiece.

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