Kon Ichikawa

Fires on the Plain

Fires on the Plain

An agonizing portrait of desperate Japanese soldiers stranded in a strange land during World War II, Kon Ichikawa's Fires on the Plain is a compelling descent into psychological and physical oblivion. Denied hospital treatment for tuberculosis and cast off into the unknown, Private Tamura treks across an unfamiliar Philippine landscape, encountering an increasingly debased cross section of Imperial Army soldiers, who eventually give in to the most terrifying craving of all. Grisly yet poetic, Fires on the Plain is one of the most powerful works from one of Japanese cinema’s most versatile filmmakers.

Film Info

  • Kon Ichikawa
  • Japan
  • 1959
  • 104 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 2.35:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #378

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • New video introduction by Japanese-film scholar Donald Richie
  • New video interviews with director Kon Ichikawa and actor Mickey Curtis
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic Chuck Stephens

New cover by Michael Boland

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs

$650.00

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • New video introduction by Japanese-film scholar Donald Richie
  • New video interviews with director Kon Ichikawa and actor Mickey Curtis
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic Chuck Stephens

New cover by Michael Boland

Fires on the Plain
Cast
Eiji Funakoshi
Tamura
Osamu Takizawa
Yasuda
Mickey Curtis
Nagamatsu
Credits
Director
Kon Ichikawa
Producer
Masaichi Nagata
Original story
Shohei Ooka
Screenplay
Natto Wada
Cinematography
Setsuo Kobayashi
Editing
Tatsuji Nakashizu
Production design
Tokuji Shibata
Music
Yasushi Akutagawa

From The Current

Fires on the Plain: Both Ends Burning

Across an eighty-plus-film career as marred by indifferently rendered studio assignments as it is marked with peerless visual innovations and boldly imagined literary adaptations, director Kon Ichikawa—the unlikeliest of auteurs—has nevertheless …

By Chuck Stephens


Fires on the Plain

Tamura (Eiji Funakoshi), the hero of Kon Ichikawa’s overwhelming Fires on the Plain, may be the loneliest man in the history of the movies—lonelier than the spiritual pilgrims of Bergman, Bresson, and Dreyer. He is a soldier in an army that, in d…

By Terrence Rafferty