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Ugetsu monogatari

Ugetsu monogatari (1954)



Average Rating: 9/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 0

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


Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0

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



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Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 6,470

My Rating

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

Nov 8, 2005

Edward Harrison

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (0) | DVD (11)

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

September 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop 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!'

November 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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A ravishingly composed, evocatively beautiful film.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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One of the greatest of all films.

August 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Densely plotted but as emotionally subtle as its name, Ugetsu is one of the great experiences of cinema.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In exploring the transience of happiness and the injustice of patriarchal society, Mizoguchi makes lyrical use of gliding long takes that reinforce his material and mystical themes. It's a work of sheer genius.

November 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Mizoguchi's graceful, meditative camera style lends quiet intensity to the drama.

November 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

One of the masterpieces of Japanese and world cinema.

July 17, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A masterpiece of Japanese cinema.

July 16, 2008

It lyrically fuses together the real and the supernatural worlds into a satisfying allegory, where both worlds seem to exist side by side.

January 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Mizoguchi employs his trademark fluidity to brilliant effect.

November 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A withering hip check against machismo.

November 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Somehow Mizoguchi has made a film that is not the cruel, sadistic exercise which this description would make it seem.

November 3, 2005 Full Review Source:

A masterpiece from Mizoguchi -- for its historical drama, its moving social and family themes and its marvellously moody ghost story.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

This award-winning film is beautifully told; its visual and narrative constructs are rich in tones and subtleties.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

This lyrical, enchanting film by Mizoguchi is one of Japanese cinema's greatest masterpieces.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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.
October 28, 2011

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 Genjur˘ 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.
September 29, 2011
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.
January 23, 2010
danny d

Super Reviewer

Mizoguchi's masterful rendering of ambition and greed. I loved the supernatural elements of the story. Every bit as good as (if not better than) Sansho the Bailiff.
December 28, 2009
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Ugetsu Monogatari (Erzńhlungen unter dem Regenmond) (DE)
  • Tales of Ugetsu (Ugetsu monogatari) (1953) (UK)
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