• Japan
  • 1942
  • 87 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.33:1
  • Japanese
  •  
  • Spine #526

Yasujiro Ozu’s frequent leading man Chishu Ryu is riveting as Shuhei, a widowed high school teacher who finds that the more he tries to do what is best for his son’s future, the more they are separated. Though primarily a delicately wrought story of parental love, There Was a Father offers themes of sacrifice that were deemed appropriately patriotic by Japanese censors at the time of its release during World War II, making it a uniquely political film in Ozu’s body of work.

Cast

Shuhei HorikawaChishu Ryu
Ryohei (adult)Shuji Sano
Ryohei (child) Haruhiko Tsugawa
Yasutaro KurokawaShin Saburi
Makoto Hirata Takeshi Sakamoto
FumiMitsuko Mito
SeiichiMasayoshi Otsuka
Minoru UchidaShinichi Himori

Credits

Disc Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer
  • New video interview with film scholars David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic and historian Tony Rayns, an appreciation of actor Chishu Ryu by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, and comments by Ryu on director Yasujiro Ozu

Film Essays

There Was a Father: Duty Calls

By Tony RaynsJuly 13, 2010

At the author’s request, Japanese names are given here in their traditional form: surname . . . Read more »

Press Notes

Press Notes: 2010—One Last Look

January 03, 2011

Before we put 2010 to bed, we thought we’d catch up with all the year-end lists that have . . . Read more »


Film Essays

There Was a Father: Duty Calls

By Tony RaynsJuly 13, 2010

At the author’s request, Japanese names are given here in their traditional form: surname . . . Read more »