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Late Spring (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1949)

Chishu Ryu , Setsuko Hara , Yasujiro Ozu  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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"The Life Aquatic" Available for Pre-order on Blu-ray
The Criterion Collection's release of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic is available for pe-order on Blu-ray. This title releases May 27th, 2014. Learn more

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Late Spring (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Tokyo Story (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura, Hohi Aoki
  • Directors: Yasujiro Ozu
  • Format: Blu-ray, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006X96PBU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,941 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

One of the most powerful of the family portraits by Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story), Late Spring tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his beloved only daughter. Eminent Ozu players Chishu Ryu (There Was a Father) and Setsuko Hara (Late Autumn) command this poignant tale of love and loss in postwar Japan, which remains as potent today as ever and as strong a justification for its maker's inclusion in the pantheon of cinema's greatest directors.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great extras, okay transfer. October 2, 2006
Format:DVD
The extras on this disc are fabulous. TOKYO-GA, in particular, is fantastic. It's fascinating to see what Chishu Ryu looked like in his old age, and a real eye-opener to learn that he was almost the same age as Tetsuko Hara when they were making pictures together, considering he was most often playing her father. Criterion has done a wonderful job with the bonus features and package design, as per usual. I would have given it a 5 star rating, but for one issue. My biggest complaint (and unfortunately, it IS a complaint), is with the print source quality. One of the reels has a white vertical emulsion scratch running through its entirety; the one with the famous shot of Setsuko Hara riding a bicycle with a male friend, passing a Coca-Cola sign at the side of the road. Only four years after the end of WWII, the Coke sign served as a reminder to the viewer that Japan was still occupied by the Americans, but was also feeling the encroaching influence from capitalistic western culture. Perhaps it was an insurmountable feat for Criterion to have digitally restored this sequence, but I must admit having to endure watching the vertical scratch throughout that entire sequence was quite disappointing and even infuriating, considering it's one of my favourite moments in all of Ozu's films. Having said that, it's an absolute essential for any serious film enthusiast to have this in his or her dvd collection, so I guess I'll just have to grin and bear it. I'm one of those dummies who buys his favourites again and again, like Star Wars fans, so if they improve upon the transfer, I'll probably buy it again. ;-)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Criterion Treasure! July 16, 2006
By Sam H.
Format:DVD
I discovered this film after reading Paul Schrader's book, Transcendental Style in Film. I located an old VHS copy and got totally sucked in by it. I found I loved the father and daughter by the end in a way that was more real than in nearly any other film I'd ever seen. I felt as though I'd been invited into their home and then been treated like an honored guest as a subtle and profound crisis in this family was dealt with.

I bought a Code 3 DVD version from Shochiku Home Video and continued watching it while reading Donald Richie's book on Ozu. But the subtitles seemed to be translated poorly and I could tell that a lot of the subtleties were lost. So I was very pleased when Criterion came out with this version in which much greater care was given to the translations.

In the Shochiku version there are no subtitles at all in the famous scene at the Noh play. But Criterion provides a marvelous translation that adds another layer of depth to the experience. As Noriko looks at her father beside her and then at Mrs. Miwa, whom she thinks is going to marry him, her jealousy and hurt are underscored by the performance of the play. In it a chorus of monks recites in verse a woman's feelings for her lost love. The emotions of the woman in the play, hidden behind the monk's ritualistic performance, parallel the storm of feeling raging just beneath Noriko's subdued expressions.

This is a masterful work and Criterion's translators should be applauded. Also, Richard Peña's commentary points out even more subtleties than I'd read in Richie's book. This DVD is a treasure.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film November 5, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Late Spring was made in 1949, shortly after the change in the Japanese Constitution allowed women the right to have a divorce, could have only been made in this small period of time. The film is about family, marriage and happiness. A father, played by Chishu Ryu, wants his daughter, played by Setsuko Hara, to marry. At first it seems she refuses to marry out of fear of what might happen to him but it soon becomes clear she fears what might happen to herself. In other words she has grown attached to her father and living with him. To her marriage means being pushed out into a strange new home, a strange new way of life. She like Hamlet, fears the great unknown. The black & white movie is 108 minutes and has commentary by Richard Pena.

A second disc has Tokyo-Ga, a great 92 minutes tribute to Ozu filmed in Tokyo in 1985. It is wonderful to watch and, like the movie, gives a snapshot of Japan as it was and not how it is now. This set, in other words, holds two faces of Japan that once was. There is also a nice booklet with essays and disc information.

A must for any fans of Japanese film or if you already own Early Summer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The profundity of everyday life June 19, 2006
Format:DVD
Ozu at his best creates achingly beautiful cinematic musings on everyday life. No car chases or explosions, no murders, not a single gun is fired, not so much as a kick in the groin or even a clenched fist. His mileiu is the routine interaction among families, the ostensibly mundane issues that affect us on a daily basis, yet he presents these issues in images so meditative, so beautifully poetic, that they become timeless and profound. As I said, these qualities represent Ozu at his best. And Late Spring is one of his best films.

The story is typical Ozu, a young woman enjoys living with her father while her father very much wants her to get married and leave the house. Not that the father doesn't enjoy having her around, he simply feels that she needs to experience life away from the burden of caring for him, so he is willing to make the sacrifice. Simple enough, right? It's the way Ozu tells the story that makes it heartbreaking and meaningful. He eschews conventional approaches to filmmaking, no dissolves, he goes from scene to scene via simple cuts, he lingers on hallways and doors for seconds after characters have left the frame, or before they arrive, his establishing shots are often establishing montages, a series of shots that show streets, buildings, gardens, parkways, flowers. He retains the small details most filmmakers would leave out, the routine greetings, the "hi, how are you doing?"s, the casual preludes to pertinent conversation that might bog down a conventional film but are perfectly at home in the low key world of Ozu. In effect, his films move at a steady and brooding rhythm, they are like mood pieces, tone poems that never deviate from this quietude. Modern American purveyors of shrill and screechy cinema(P.T. Anderson, Paul Haggis) could take a lesson from Ozu.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a classic
Love the movie. The last scene is epic. Must see for all family drama fans.
Every scene is structured to the detail, well worth seeing over & over again.
Published 6 months ago by ribeye
4.0 out of 5 stars AS GOOD AS IT GETS
I bought this film because I already knew about it, and because it comes as a bundle with Wenders' "Tokyo Ga". Read more
Published 6 months ago by Cesar Diaz
5.0 out of 5 stars the right words
"If in our century something sacred still existed... if there were something like a sacred treasure of the cinema, then for me that would have to be the work of the Japanese... Read more
Published 11 months ago by aldo
5.0 out of 5 stars Like this movie
This is after I watched his Tokyo Story, The flavor of Green tea over rice, Early Summer..etc

With this perspective, I think this is his most stylish work, he started to... Read more
Published 13 months ago by ACW1120
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding "print" of one of my favorite films
I admit, it's hard for me to be really objective about this film. I've owned a copy in VHS, DVD, and now this gorgeous release from Criterion and, regardless of format, it's always... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Elliot Kallen
5.0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Late Spring" is a fantastic film that captures the...
Yasujiro Ozu is one of the world's beloved directors. Having made many films since the 1920's up to his final film "An Autumn Afternoon" in 1962, his works have been appreciated... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Dennis A. Amith (kndy)
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Ozu
This is a quintessential Ozu film, with unforgettable performances by two Ozu luminaries, the beloved Setsuko Hara as Noriko, and Chishu Ryu as her father, Shukichi Nomiya. Read more
Published on January 3, 2011 by Dale Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Portrait of Sacrifice and Love
This beautifully mounted film from Yasujiro Ozu is an astounding achievement in simplicity. Using the camera lens like an artist uses a brush, he makes tiny marks on the canvas... Read more
Published on June 10, 2010 by Bobby Underwood
5.0 out of 5 stars The politics of interpersonal struggle.
Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)

As I sat down to write this review and pulled up the movie's IMDB page, I saw a link to a rumination from David Thomson (under the guide... Read more
Published on April 15, 2010 by Robert Beveridge
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and special
The year is 1949, and Noriko and her father live a happy, quiet life in rural Japan where she attends tea ceremonies and he is a professor. Read more
Published on August 23, 2009 by Kona
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