Late Spring

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A widowed professor (Ryu) and his grown-up daughter (Hara) share a life of domestic tranquillity in a Tokyo suburb, but when he is made to realise that this girl should now be married, Ryu gently overrules her reluctance and arranges a suitable match - a Gary Cooper lookalike! Some rate this simple, affecting film even above Tokyo Story. Certainly it contains passages of great beauty and humanity, and there can be no faulting the heartbreaking performances of Ryu and Hara in roles very similar to the ones they play in the later picture. It was a favourite of the director's too (Ozu lived with his own mother throughout his life) - but it must be said that while the emotions are universal, the social customs which engender them seem more 'foreign' here than in most of the oeuvre. Hara's disgust at the thought that a widower should remarry, for example. Nevertheless, this is a remarkable, piercing film, and central to an understanding of Ozu's work. He tackled much the same story in colour in 1962's An Autumn Afternoon, his last film.

By: TCh

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Screenwriter: Kogo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu
Cast: Chishu Ryu
Setsuko Hara
Yumeji Tsukioka
Haruko Sugimura
Hohi Aoki
Jun Usami
Kuniko Miyake
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