Yama no oto (Sound of the Mountain) (1954)





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Movie Info

In this characteristically subtle, somber study by underrated Japanese director Mikio Naruse, an ingratiating bride develops warm ties to her father-in-law while her cold husband blithely slights her for another woman. Setsuko Hara, probably Japan's greatest post-war actress, proves typically endearing as the wife whose youthful enthusiasms are crushed by her unfeeling husband (Naruse favorite Ken Ohara), while So Yamamura excels as the aging father-in-law moved by his daughter-in-law's sadness. This pivotal film in Naruse's career marks his turning away from idealized renderings of Japanese wives and points towards his more complex renderings of women in such great works as Nagareru, Onna ga Kaidan o Agaru Toki, and his masterpiece, Ukigumo. ~ Les Stone, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama
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Criterion Collection


Critic Reviews for Yama no oto (Sound of the Mountain)

All Critics (1)

Sound of the Mountain is reportedly director Mikio Naruse's favorite among his pictures and, to a point, it is easy to see why.

Full Review… | February 27, 2006
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Yama no oto (Sound of the Mountain)

setsuko hara suffers magnificently for 90 minutes. quite risque subject matter for 1956. lovely soundtrack and beautiful shots, especially the ending, all the more heartbreaking for what's left unsaid. naruse was every bit the master of family drama that ozu was, and as sympathetic with his female characters as mizoguchi. it's a pity he's still so little known in the west and his films largely unavailable on dvd

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


A fairly depressing film, without being overly dark. There's some odd stuff in here: almost every significant event occurs offscreen and is only revealed through conversation after the fact. Also, a few scenes cut out at very unexpected moments. Is Naruse teasing the audience, or suggesting that it's the aftermath of events that matter more than the events themselves? I didn't think this was an amazing movie or anything, but it was pretty good and I have high hopes for his other work.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

The Sound of the Mountain deals with the same issues of troubled marriage that Repast dealt with, except the situation here is more complicated and ends in a much more tragic note. The problem I had with this was that while Repast portrayed both the husband and wife with equal care, this film simply vilifies the husband as an uncaring bastard. In fact, the story is really focused on the father character and not on the couple. Also the narrative is muddled at times, perhaps due to the film's literary origins. The ending is wonderful though, on par with any of Ozu's endings.

X. T. C.
X. T. C.

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