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Children of the Beehive (1948)

Hachi no su no kodomotachi (original title)
The movie focuses on the plight of ten war orphans hailing from different cities across Japan. With nowhere to go, they scavenge around train stations, scratching out an existence by means ... See full summary »

Director:

Hiroshi Shimizu

Writer:

Hiroshi Shimizu
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Cast

Cast overview:
Shunsaku Shimamura Shunsaku Shimamura ... Repatriate
Natuski Masako Natuski Masako
Gosho Shoichi Gosho Shoichi ... Masa
Kiyomi Imoto Kiyomi Imoto ... Doctor
Gen Tajima Gen Tajima ... Factory boss
Wataru Yaguchi Wataru Yaguchi
Sadao Nakamura Sadao Nakamura ... Tanba
Shintarô Uetani Shintarô Uetani
Shinichiro Kubota Shinichiro Kubota ... Dandy
Yutaka Iwamoto Yutaka Iwamoto ... Yutaka
Hiroyuki Mihara Hiroyuki Mihara ... Hiroyuki
Kiyoshi Taira Kiyoshi Taira ... Kan'ichi
Yoshio Hazama Yoshio Hazama
Kiyoshi Kawanishi Kiyoshi Kawanishi ... Kiyoshi
Yoshikatsu Chiba Yoshikatsu Chiba ... Yoshi
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Storyline

The movie focuses on the plight of ten war orphans hailing from different cities across Japan. With nowhere to go, they scavenge around train stations, scratching out an existence by means of black market work for a one-legged tramp whilst avoiding being picked up by the police for vagrancy. Soon however, they find a more inspiring role model in the figure of a nameless soldier just repatriated after the war. An orphan himself, the soldier also has no home to return to, and so sets out across the country with the kids in tow in search of work before settling on the goal of leading them to the orphanage where he himself grew up. Written by Jasper Sharp

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Genres:

Drama

User Reviews

 
Compassion
9 September 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

A repatriated soldier sees a gang of orphaned children at a railroad station. He shares his chocolate and bread with them, and takes most of them along with him as he goes in search of work and the only home he has ever known, a reform school where they taught him hard work, honesty, and respect for others. As they trudge along, he teaches them these things by example.

Hiroshi Shimizu directed 145 features and more than 20 short subjects in his career, from 1924 through 1959. Between 1942 and 1947, he made only three, and one of those was a part of an anthology film. He spent his time working with refugee children, like the ones portrayed in this film. He returned to the screen with this one, writing, producing and directing it, because he had something he had to say: hard work, honesty and compassion.

It is, in fact, a sequel to INTROSPECTION TOWER. That's where the soldier is heading. Although there are some standard melodramatic movie bits in this one, there are also some beautiful cinematic moments: a small boy standing at the shore crying "Mother!"; adults and children raking salt; people meeting in a devastated graveyard in Hiroshima; tall, bark-stripped trees falling in the forest; a small boy, another small boy on his back, climbing slowly and erratically up a mountain. Even more amazing, he did it with a cast of people who had never acted in a movie before.

Few of the actors ever worked again in the movies. Shimizu makes them all memorable.


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

24 August 1948 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Children of the Beehive See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hachi no Su Eiga-bu See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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