Donzoko (The Lower Depths) (1957)

Donzoko (The Lower Depths) (1957)

Donzoko (The Lower Depths)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa transferred the setting of Maxim Gorky's play The Lower Depths from Imperial Russia to his own country's Edo Period--which, like Gorky's 19th-century setting, was an era of great cultural advances, offset by the miseries of those who weren't in the aristocracy. Kurosawa's film concentrates on Toshiro Mifune, playing a crooked gambler who falls in love with the sister (Kyoko Kagawa) of his cruel landlady (Isuzu Yamada). Herself carrying a torch for Mifune, the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Maxim Gorky, Akira Kurosawa
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 10, 2004
Criterion Collection

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as Sutekichi the thief

as Osugi the Landlady

as Okayo her sister

as Kahei the priest

as Rokubei her husband

as Yoshisaburo the gamb...

as Asa his wife

as Osen the prostitute

as Tomekichi the tinker

as Police Agent

as The Ex-Samurai

as Unokichi

as The Actor
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Donzoko (The Lower Depths)

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

This is the purpose of the picture, to make one suffer and sympathize with them. Kurosawa's darkly imagistic technique achieves this depressing aim.

Full Review… | September 10, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Bleak comedy about a virtual flophouse in Edo-period Japan based on Gorky's play. Top-flight ensemble performance.

Full Review… | September 2, 2010

For the first hour and fifteen minutes of the movie, we make only limited excursions out of the tenement, and it begins to feel as though we've moved in ourselves. Kurosawa may have intended this, but it doesn't make for very satisfying viewing.

Full Review… | September 10, 2005

November 3, 2005

September 25, 2005

Audience Reviews for Donzoko (The Lower Depths)

This is part of the criterion collection, a early Black and White from Japan, with English subtitles, Kind of boring at first but as it plays out you can't help but to stay with it, about a houseful of beggars and lower lower class and there daily lives, Its worth 2 stars

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


really intersting film. a movie by kurosawa about poverty and the people who live in it. there are some very profound things in this film and i think it really helps one to understand an impoverished mind set. to see people living like this is troubling, and kurosawa did a great job with the diologue as usual. very similar to reniors version of the same story made 21 years earlier.

danny d

Super Reviewer

Confusing at the beginning, but around the hour mark everything begins to make sense. It's a shame I have not read Maxim Gorky's story that this film is based off of, but I read that it is a faithful adaptation of the original material. This film is very dialogue driven and through language and words, morals and values of society are analyzed. Also very interesting because blunt truth-telling vs sugar coated lying are also explored in this film. Very dark and pessimistic, but also some funny moments between the drunks and layabouts in the film. Overall, it was a very strange and intriguing film, much like Kurosawa's earlier Russian adaptation The Idiot. This film had a unique setting and quirky characters, however, was hard to sit through at times. Competent performances and strong dialogue kept this movie from being rated any lower.


Super Reviewer

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