There Was a Father (1942) - Rotten Tomatoes

There Was a Father (1942)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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.

Cast

Chishu Ryu
as Shuhei Horikawa
Shin Saburi
as Yasutaro Kurokawa
Takeshi Sakamoto
as Makoto Hirata

News & Interviews for There Was a Father

Critic Reviews for There Was a Father

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (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…
New Yorker
Top Critic

A delicate, straightforward exhortation to duty and sacrifice, presented with both humor and a kind of unforced serenity.

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The issue of separation acquired a particular poignancy in wartime, it goes without saying, but Ryu's stoic underplaying offers a heartbreaking performance for the ages.

October 18, 2008 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top 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…
Parallax View

a poignant, even tragic portrait of the nature of sacrifice

July 16, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Q Network Film Desk

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

July 16, 2010 | Full Review…
Combustible Celluloid

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.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

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