The Only Son/There Was a Father: Two Films by Yasujiro Ozu

The Only Son/There Was a Father: Two Films by Yasujiro Ozu

These rare early films from Yasujiro Ozu are considered by many to be two of the Japanese director’s finest works, paving the way for a career among the most sensitive and significant in cinema. The Only Son and There Was a Father make a graceful pair, bookending a crucial period in Japanese history. In the former, Ozu’s first sound film, made during a time of intense economic crisis, a mother sacrifices her own happiness for her son’s education; the latter, released in the midst of World War II, stars Ozu stalwart Chishu Ryu as a widowed schoolteacher whose devotion to his son ends up driving them apart. Criterion proudly presents these nearly lost treasures for the first time on home video.

Film Info

  • Spine #524

Films In This Set

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfers
  • New video interviews with film scholars Tadao Sato, David Bordwell, and Kristin Thompson
  • New and improved English subtitle translations
  • PLUS: Essays 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

    New covers by Adrian Tomine