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There Was a Father

There Was a Father (1942)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 394

My Rating

Movie Info

A widowed high school teacher finds that the more he tries to do what is best for his son's future, the more they are separated.

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Yasujiro Ozu, Tadao Ikeda

Aug 31, 2010

Criterion Collection

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All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (0) | DVD (3)

Within the framework of the aching melodrama the director daringly highlights the weight of tradition and duty that crushes the individual spirit.

January 21, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... an indisputable masterpiece, a work of grace and simplicity that feels as timeless now as it was timely then.

August 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

a poignant, even tragic portrait of the nature of sacrifice

July 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

An almost unwittingly political, (unusual for Ozu) as well as artistic, triumph.

July 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Ozu's most Buddhist, didactic, Japanese and patriarchal film.

June 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

If There Was a Father celebrates obedience as a virtue and duty the highest calling on the surface, there is an ambiguity in Ozu's tone.

June 2, 2008 Full Review Source: Turner Classic Movies Online
Turner Classic Movies Online

Audience Reviews for There Was a Father

a vastly underrated ozu classic. there was a surprising political element, rare for ozu even during the wartime censorship, but that didnt overwhelm the film or detract form the powerful premise at all. as a parent, this film is gut wrenching. a father maintains a surprising level of affection from his son despite hampering their relationship as he punishes himself for a mistake made while his son was a young boy. the culture of japan at the time is portrayed with clarity that is educational for us today, and the ozu trademarks that become more evident later in his career appear in this film in spurts. ryu is his usual steady self, and the film hits home well in a short and effective running time.
August 2, 2010
sanjurosamurai
danny d

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Foreign Titles

  • There Was a Father (Chichi ariki) (1942) (DE)
  • There Was a Father (Chichi ariki) (1942) (UK)
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