Ugetsu monogatari (1954)

Ugetsu monogatari



Critic Consensus: With its thought-provoking themes, rich atmosphere, and brilliant direction, Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu monogatari is a towering classic of world cinema.

Movie Info

Presented in a manner as eerie as it is heartbreaking, this film is a gorgeous supernatural fable about the folly of men with dreams larger than their abilities and their women who suffer as a result. Genjuro (Masuyaki Mori) is a potter who longs for wealth and luxury, while Tobei (Sakae Ozawa), a farmer, dreams of the glories of the samurai to the point of ignoring his wife. Though a war rages around them, they venture to town to sell their wares. Genjuro becomes bewitched by a beautiful though … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Matsutarô Kawaguchi, Akinari Ueda, Yoshikata Yoda
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 8, 2005
Edward Harrison


as Lady Wakasa

as Genjuro Pottery Make...

as Miyagi Genjuro's Wif...

as Tobei Genjuro's Brot...

as Ohama Tobei's Wife

as Village master

as Old Priest

as Shinto Priest

as Shop Owner

as Captain of Tamba Sol...

as Silk Merchant
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Ugetsu monogatari

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

Tale of two men in seething 16th-century Japan has a color and panorama which makes this absorbing film fare.

Full Review… | September 16, 2008
Top Critic

A marvelously wise and moving classic, but also one full of sights that might make you cry, like Genjuro, 'I never imagined such pleasures existed!'

Full Review… | November 16, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A ravishingly composed, evocatively beautiful film.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One of the greatest of all films.

Full Review… | August 12, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Kenji Mizoguchi, who directed, has a fantastic flexibility in using his actors and his camera, as witness his range in this film.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Densely plotted but as emotionally subtle as its name, Ugetsu is one of the great experiences of cinema.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ugetsu monogatari

Beautiful morality tale. When dreaming with a better life becomes greater, blinding us, foreshadowing everything we have, and this seemingly improved life gained reveals itself as a mirage, a pile of nothingness, that's the only time people feel the urge to get back home. There are men so poor that the only thing they have is money.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


From the Criterion Collection, Spine No. 309. Hailed by critics as one of the greatest films ever made, Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu is an undisputed masterpiece of Japanese cinema. Set in the 16th Century, A family man farmer and craftsman Genjurô travels to Nagahama to sell his wares and makes a small fortune. His neighbor Tobei that is a fool man dreams on becoming a samurai, but he can not afford to buy the necessary outfit. So starts the story of 2 different men and the rise and fall. It takes a different person to watch and enjoy not only films from the Criterion Collection, but also it takes a little bit to watch and understand a fifties movie from Japan. But once you get into these movies your hooked. Please try one and enjoy. 4 1/2 stars.

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


i hadnt seen this film in a few years, and it was even better the second time. one of the best film presentations of what happens when a man puts ambition over the love and needs of his own family. mizoguchi is a master with the camera and the musical score heightened the ghost elements of the story perfectly. a phenomenal film.

danny d

Super Reviewer

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