An elderly couple (Chishu Ryu and Chieko Higashiyama) journey with their youngest daughter (Kyôko Kagawa) to Tokyo to visit their doctor son (Sô Yamamura) and a daughter (Haruko Sugimura) who runs a beauty salon. Their pediatrician son promises to take them sightseeing through Tokyo, only to be called away on an emergency. Their daughter Shige promises to take them to the theater, but cannot leave her beauty salon.
Only their widowed daughter-in-law, Noriko (Setsuko Hara) takes a day off work to show them the sights and genuinely seems happy to see them, The father visits some old buddies for a night of drinking and reminiscing. Shortly after the old couple returns home, the children receive telegrams saying mother is ill.
Release date: November 3, 1953
The film was inspired by Make way for tomorrow (1937) directed by Leo McCarey. Ozu never saw the film, but his scriptwriter had fond memories of it. Source / More (Book)
The class of children at the end of the movie sing Japanese words to a Stephen Foster tune (1826-1864). Source / More (Book)
Director Ozu’s camera is most often positioned to catch actor-eye-level while seated on the floor (The Ozu shot). For this reason, nearly all of his sets had to be constructed with ceilings. Source / More (Book)
Chishu Ryu, who plays Shukichi, appeared in all but two of Ozu’s films. Source / More (Book)
Every sequence, every shot within it, and every detail (whether of decor or gesture) within every shot, was planned by director Ozu. Chishu Ryu: “So that all we actors had to do was to follow directions, from the way we lifted and dropped our arms to the way we blinked our eyes. That is we hadn’t to worry about acting at all” Source / More (Book)