Zero Focus (1961)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

When the husband of a young newlywed disappears on what was supposed to be only a brief business trip, the mournful bride embarks on an ominous search in director Yoshitaro Nomura's adaptation of author Seicho Matsumoto's popular Japanese mystery novel. As Teiko slowly makes her way through the snowy countryside in search of missing husband Kenichi, the revelation that he may have been leading a double life sets off a chain of events that finds her fate growing increasingly grim.
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Home Vision Entertainment


Yoshiko Kuga
as Teiko Uhara
Koji Nanbara
as Kenichi Uhara
Ineko Arima
as Hisako Tanuma
Hizuru Takachiho
as Sachiko Murota/Emmy
Ko Nishimura
as Sotaro Uhara
Sadako Sawamura
as Sotaro's Wife
Yoshi Kato
as Mr. Murota
Takanobu Hozumi
as Mr. Honda
Hisao Toake
as Saeki
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Zero Focus

All Critics (3)

Arty and involving.

Full Review… | June 20, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Sentimental strings help to relate this drama to Western noir of years ago. But landscape, season and historical context also couple the stylish film to a distinctly Eastern sensibility.

Full Review… | July 4, 2010
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

What's most original -- and best -- about Zero Focus is its marvelous atmosphere.

Full Review… | September 26, 2004

Audience Reviews for Zero Focus

An excellent mystery film. Can appropriately be called Hitchcockian in terms both of storyline and atmosphere but it also in many ways can be described as film noir. Very well photographed. A film mystery fans should definitely see.

David Duncan
David Duncan

In "Zero Focus, Teiko(Yoshiko Yuga) and Kenichi Uhara(Koji Nanbara) have been married for a week and they are about to settle down in Tokyo. All he has to do before formally transferring there for the ad company where he works is to meet with his successor, Honda(Takanobu Hozumi), and take care of some old business at the branch in Kanazawa. However, five days later, Kenichi has not returned and his brother Sotaro(Ko Nishimura) has not heard from him. So, the company sends Teiko and a company representative to Kanazawa but still no news until they hear from the police... "Zero Focus" may not be the most vibrant movie ever made, but it works its methodical way in solving a compelling mystery, using a judicious use of jump editing to move around in time and memory. Underlying that mystery is a pointed critique of Japanese society, namely marriage which is necessary for any kind of respectability which seems to be only skin deep, like the advertising Kenichi works on.(On the other hand, any country where you do not need a car to get to the most remote parts cannot be all bad.) For example, there is Teiko who is forced by societal constraints to marry a man she hardly knows(to be honest, nobody seems to know much about Kenichi) or work in menial labor. However, as the movie proves as it goes on, she is a first class detective, as she works to decipher the clues surrounding her husband's disappearance.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Rather interesting and clever B&W mid-Century murder mystery, even more surprising in that it hails from Japanese cinema. Shortly after her marriage, A wife's "salaryman" heads out of town to remote prefecture of northern Japan on what is supposed to be his last bit of business with his current employer. Instead, he vanishes into thin air. The wife has to travel north to sleuth it out for herself, and it's a twisty, turny trip indeed. To say any more would spoil. RECOMMENDATION: If you like the genre, you'll love this taste of it, garnished with wasabi.

TonyPolito  Polito
TonyPolito Polito

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