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Shall We Dance? (1996) (1997)

Koji Yakusho , Tamiyo Kusakari , Masayuki Suo  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)

Price: $14.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Shall We Dance? (1996) (English Subtitled)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Koji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka, Eriko Watanabe, Akira Emoto
  • Directors: Masayuki Suo
  • Writers: Masayuki Suo
  • Producers: Yasuyoshi Tokuma
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: January 4, 2012
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7S34
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,325 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Shall We Dance? (1996)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette on the American remake

Editorial Reviews

Here's the irresistible comedy treat that had critics and audiences cheering all across America...and inspired the new Hollywood hit starring Richard Gere (Chicago), Jennifer Lopez (Maid in Manhattan) and Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking)! A middle-aged workaholic's incredibly dull life takes a funny turn when he signs up for a ballroom dance class - just to meet the sexy dance teacher. But when he finally muscles up the nerve for lessons, he winds up with a different instructor and her colorfully eccentric class of beginners! And now he'll have to step lightly - and do some fancy footwork - if he expects to keep his new secret passion from his family and friends!

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
272 of 280 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why tamper with perfection September 17, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I see over one hundred well-written summaries on these pages, with an average five-star rating. While adding my rave review to the list, I ask the question: Why tamper with perfection? The US-made re-make is about to hit the screens with A-list cast Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, and Susan Sarandon. I know for a fact that a large majority of the U.S. population will never watch a subtitled film, so I can understand the reason for re-making it. However, I think everyone who has written here will agree that there's no way this Gere/Lopez/Sarandon re-make will capture the spirit of the original, certainly not the two driving forces that propel it.

First, there's the drudgery of the Japanese millions of others Tokyo-based wage slaves, Koji Yakusho's unhappy accountant takes his hours-long train ride home each evening, beaten down a bit more by his lot in life. He spies a dance studio, a dancer...and slowly - night after night - develops a small dream. The night he finally decides to get off the train is a magnificent scene...there's a complete struggle going on inside his body to hop off and stay off that train. I wonder how the re-make will possibly capture even a smidgen of that angst.

Second, there are the strong mores of Japanese society and the overrriding ethos of "the upright nail gets hammered down." In the U.S., to a large extent, the spirit of the individual endures - if you want to dance, you dance. In Japan, not only is Koji Yakusho's character battling himself, he's battling his country's perception of his decision to dance, which basically can be summarized as: "Guys don't." Again, I challenge the re-make to capture this tension.
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68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shall We DVD? May 23, 2003
By A Customer
Since this movie is one that I could easily watch over and over, I have been waiting for it to come out on DVD. You don't have to know anything about ballroom dancing to enjoy it; it's simply a story of breaking out of the day-to-day drabness and doing something you love.
I have several favorite characters in the movie; one is the private detective who's hired by the main character's wife to find out where he's been going at night. The private eye is all business at first, but after tailing his client's husband, he slowly gets drawn into the world of competitive dancing. The other is the shy, overweight, diabetic young man who takes up dancing on his doctor's orders to get some exercise. The scene where he bursts into tears, asking, "Am I really so terrible?" (I forget the exact words) had me in tears myself. The change in this character by the end of the film is amazing.
It's a cliché, but this is a true "feel good" movie, and proof that you don't have to have sex, profanity, and violence to have an engrossing adult film.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Movie great, DVD is not May 9, 2008
Note, I am NOT referring to the American REMAKE starring Richard Gere. I am referring to this American DVD release of the Japanese film.

I give this Japanese movie 5 stars. However, I give this particular product one star. This American DVD release cut almost 20 minutes from the full Japanese version! Also, the voiceover narration at the beginning of the film is altered! I understand why the studios might think that the film in its entirety might not "sit well" with American audiences, but I honestly don't think that would've changed people's opinion of this classic film.

Perhaps, most of you do not mind, but that is a great travesty to me.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I'd love to "Dance" October 15, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Masayuki Suo won over audiences across the world with "Shall We Dance?", a sweet crowd-pleasing dance flick. Despite its serious look at Japanese culture, it's a charming and funny story about a man struggling to inject some sparkle into an unfulfilling life, and the dance that helps him do it.

Shohei Sugiyama (Koji Yakusho) is a successful businessman, with a lovely house, loving wife, and a lovely teen daughter. But though he has everything a person could want, he is unhappy and doesn't even know why. But one day on the way home, he sees a beautiful woman (Tamiyo Kusakari) looking sadly out of a dance studio. He sees her there every day, and eventually he hops out of the train and signs up for dancing lessons.

Since ballroom dancing is frowned on in Japan, Sugiyama keeps his lessons a secret, and it's a bit of a struggle for him to overcome his natural stiffness. Because of his odd hours and the perfume on his shirts, his wife is afraid that he's having an affair, and hires a detective to follow him. But after Mai rejects him, Sugiyama begins to have a love affair -- with ballroom dancing itself.

There's something very sweet and pure about "Shall We Dance?", which you hardly ever see in movies. Not just because of the lack of naughty material in it, but because the story itself has a sweet joy just ingrained into the dancing, the dialogue, and the way Sugiyama drags himself from the doldrums.

In Japan, ballroom dancing is considered kind of embarrassing and seductive, which gives Sugiyama's passion for the dance a "forbidden fruit" quality. But the film doesn't lapse into cliche territory. Sugiyama's affection for the beautiful Mai is based in something more than attraction, since he senses that she is as sad as he is.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this great movie
Even though it was reading the subtitle, I really enjoyed this great movie! A wonderful story about someone that took dancing classes for the sole purpose of meeting someone he... Read more
Published 1 day ago by roma64
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 days ago by Mur3
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I like it better than the Hollywood version!!
Published 3 days ago by N. Stuart
4.0 out of 5 stars ... American version but always heard that the original was better, so...
I saw the American version but always heard that the original was better, so I recently watched it. I agree. It was delightful. Read more
Published 4 days ago by SueSWW
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
Saw the Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon. Our Ballroom Dancing instructor suggested we see the Japanese movie that preceded it. It was very charming. Read more
Published 8 days ago by ootpam
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Japanese films in memory
One of the best Japanese films in memory. The characters are very likable and one feels very sympathetic to them.
Published 8 days ago by Gabriel W. Lewison
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It was very good!
Published 22 days ago by Ruby Boone
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Foreign Films
This film has two things I love. One is dance and the other, subtitles. Some might think it's a little slow but the characters and the dancing are so good, that didn't matter.
Published 23 days ago by Barbara D. Leachman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A charming movie that makes you think. The characters are so varied and unique.
Published 24 days ago by Lauri Przybysz
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little movie
Nice little look into Japanese culture and one man's way of dealing with it, worth a look.
Published 25 days ago by Ted Toad
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Shall We Dance? Japanese version Blu-Ray version???
The Blu-ray is coming out 7/4/12... You can order it from
Jun 20, 2012 by Jon |  See all 3 posts
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