- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 hours, 23 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: February 10, 2009
- Originally Released: 1952
- Label: Criterion
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono - Japanese
- Subtitles - English - Optional
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/29/1996
"...Kurosawa opens his story with a deliberate, low-key pacing, although at the end there is rage against the dying of the light..."
Sight and Sound - 11/01/2003
"...Kurosawa never lets us forget that Watanabe's courage is as great as that of any warrior....A tale of heroism..."
USA Today - 01/09/2004
"[An] extraordinary urban epic with an unusual two-part story construction that turns out to be the right narrative choice."
Premiere - 03/01/2004
"[With] storytelling brio, sharp observation, and incredible emotional power..."
Uncut - 01/01/2004
"Takashi Shimura delivers a fine, understated performance..."
Empire - 08/01/2008
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his moving melodrama continued Kurosawa's revolt against narrative linearity....This is a masterpiece of humanist cinema..."
A powerful, thought-provoking drama about a petty bureaucrat who discovers that he is dying of cancer. Coming to the realization that his life has been a meaningless quest for following petty company rules, he tries to create one thing of lasting worth.
In what could be called Akira Kurosawa's It's a Wonderful Life, Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an isolated, inward city office clerk who discovers he has stomach cancer and little time left on Earth. With a compelling, radical narrative structure, Kurosawa depicts Watanabe's last months and then how his final decisions have affected those left behind. Ikiru is one of the Japanese master's darkest, yet most life-affirming works.