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Setsuko Hara
portrait

Date of Birth: Jun 17, 1920

Country: Japan

Biography: She became one of Japan's best-loved stars over her 30-year film career. Her signature character type, variations on a daughter devoted to her parents and home, inspired the nickname that stayed with her until retirement: the Eternal Virgin. To some extent, reality mirrored her roles in these films. In a society that considers marriage and parenting almost obligatory, she remained single and childless, something of a controversy in Japan in the 1950s. Fortunately she was popular enough to avoid

Total Titles at Criticker: 43 - You've Seen 0

Biography last updated by Dunstan-xxx, and picture by danozu

Find more information about Setsuko Hara at The Internet Movie Database

Titles You Haven't Rated (43)
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Shiroi Kyotou (1966)
A sarcastic movie that takes jabs at the practices of the medical profession.
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Chushingura (1962)
A young lord attempts to combat the official corruption endemic to the Shogunate, only to be placed in an impossible conflict of duties... (imdb)
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Life of a Country Doctor (1961)
A skilled country doctor's talents are such that he can even perform operations as difficult and novel as removing a patient's kidney for the first time in Japan. Unfortunately for him, however, his wife's addiction to gambling is of such a magnitude that he is down to selling his underwear to make money. The image sticks and he becomes known as the 'underwear doctor.' On the other hand, his successful surgery's patient is so grateful he himself wants to become a physician. (imdb)
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The End of Summer (1961)
Ozu creates a picture about an entire family, enriching the several strands of his story with many anecdotes. The film is unusually rich in character vignettes: at the same time it is one of the director's bleakest films.
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Late Autumn (1960)
The great actress and Ozu regular Setsuko Hara plays a mother gently trying to persuade her daughter to marry in this glowing portrait of family love and conflict (DVD Beaver)
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Daughters, Wives and a Mother (1960)
Sanae Sakanishi, widowed at the film's outset is left a substantial inheritance that soon becomes the instigator of much familial discord. (Slant)
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Nippon tanjo (1959)
The legend of the birth of Shintoism. In Fourth Century Japan, the Emperor Keikoh's son Ouso expects to succeed his father on the throne, but Otomo, the Emperor's vassal, prefers Ouso's stepbrother Waka, and conspires to have Ouso die on a dangerous mission he has contrived. (imdb)
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Tôkyô no Kyûjitsu (1958)
May Kawaguchi is a famous Japanese fashion designer. Returning to Tokyo from her home in New York, she travels incognito with a tour group, in hopes of having a quiet vacation without being noticed. But she is spotted and the press has a field-day with the returning celebrity. Her hopes of rest shattered, she agrees to put on a large-scale fashion show.
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Tokyo Twilight (1957)
Two sisters live with their father. The younger sister is embroiled in an affair and becomes pregnant. The elder sister has run away from her husband and returned with her child to her parent's home. Both sisters are astonished when their mother, long thought dead, turns up alive. The sisters are even more stunned when they learn what their mother's life has been. (imdb)
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Women in Prison (1956)
The woman-only prison has a cast all with a story of their own and with no dull or routine day. There is an employee who is divorced after her husband had an affair. She loves the jailed criminals and almost sees them as family. One day at a workshop someone faints while working hard to make money because she has a poor boyfriend. Another inmate is knocked up Another is a mother and has her child with her. (imdb)
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Shu-u (1956)
The greatest shock of Sudden Rain comes when Ryotaro Namiki (Shuji Sano) declares to his wife Fumiko (Setsuko Hara) that she has no dreams. For those familiar with Hara's typically incandescent screen presence this is less of an insult than pure blasphemy, though it's all to director Mikio Naruse's subversive point. (Slant Magazine)
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Nobuko Rides on a Cloud (1955)
The film was adopted from the bestselling novel by Momoko Ishii, which was published following World War II. When a girl is in danger of drowning in a lake she had perceived as the clouds, the god in the sky transports her to the heavens showing her existence without her and prior to her birth. Not only that, but she comes to meet her dead relatives and get to know them as well. (imdb)
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Yama no oto (1954)
This film is about the story of the relationship between a daughter-in-law (Setsuko Hara) and the father (So Yamamura) of her neglectful and selfish husband (Ken Uehara). As the father becomes more and more aware of the unhappiness of Hara, he takes ever more unconventional steps to try to rescue his son's marriage. Though the issues of infidelity, abortion and divorce swirl through this film, the tone is remarkably low-key and unmelodramatic (IMDB Comments)
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Tokyo Story (1953)
An elderly couple journey to Tokyo to visit their children and are confronted by indifference, ingratitude and selfishness... (imdb)
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The Idiot (1951)
Kameda, who has been in an asylum on Okinawa, travels to Hokkaido. There he becomes involved with two women, Taeko and Ayako. Taeko comes to love Kameda, but is loved in turn by Akama. When Akama realizes that he will never have Taeko, his thoughts turn to murder, and great tragedy ensues. (imdb)
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Early Summer (1951)
In postwar Tokyo, this household is loving and serene: older parents, their 28-year-old daughter Noriko, their married son, his devoted wife, and two rascally sons. (imdb)
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Meshi (1951)
Michiyo moved to Osaka two years ago, when her husband Hatsunosuke who works at a stock brokerage was transfered from Tokyo. She wash, cook and clean 365 days a year. All the dreams and hopes she had when they got married five years ago seems to be gone. From here on we follow the everyday life of Mr. and Mrs. Okamoto. (imdb)
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Tonosama Hotel (1949)
When a man of some stature and lineage decides to launch a business by renovating and converting his mansion into a hotel and putting his domestic staff like the chef and maid to work in the new venture, his wife cannot accept the change and decamps to another house. It is opening time and a girl arrives seeking a job and is given one. The clientele are not as desired, however, and instead of a classy lot the hotel is attracting shysters, pickpockets and lovers. (imdb)
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Ojôsan kanpai (1949)
The story of a troubled romance between a mechanic and a young, blind, upper class lady.
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Late Spring (1949)
Somiya was an old widower with a daughter, named Noriko, mature for marriage but would rather live with her father... (imdb)
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Aoi sanmyaku (1949)
When a post-war high school girl is seen with an older boy many find the nontraditional notion unacceptable and try to trick the girl and also assail her right to continue the relationship. Cue her teacher who not only supports the girl, but encourages her pupils to do as they wish and ignore what society indoctrinates. Not everyone agrees with the teacher and her modern ideas however. (aghaemi)
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Zoku aoi sanmyaku (1949)
In this sequel to Aoi sanmyaku (1949) the focus is not on the students', but the teachers' life. When one day a love letter is discovered it escalates into case over which teacher and students clash. The incident blows up and there is a dispute about the truth leading to a parent-teacher association meeting. There is a vote on who is correct, which in turn leads to the teacher's version winning out. (imdb)
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Taifuken no onna (1948)
A gang of 4 pirates, down on their luck, head for a weather-tracking station on an outlying island, intending to hold the weather-trackers hostage and raid their next incoming supply ship. (zangiku)
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Anjo-ke no Butokai (1947)
After Japan's loss in the war, the wealthy, cultured, liberal Anjo family have to give up their mansion and their way of life. They hold one last ball at the house before leaving. (imdb)
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Sanbon yubi no otoko (1947)
Being acquainted with the bride's uncle, a famed private detective is invited to a wedding ceremony. The groom's family is moneyed and owns large tracts of land. The bride is a former teacher and was rumoured to have had an affair, which explains why the groom's family opposed the union. On the night of the ceremony the bride and groom are killed in a sealed room. (imdb)
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No Regrets for Our Youth (1946)
Yukie, the well-bred daughter of a university professor, is shocked when her father is relieved of his post for his political teachings... (imdb)
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Three Women of the North (1945)
The story of an airport and its air traffic control crew in a remote and northern Japanese town. Three of the air traffic controllers are female with one of them (Hara, Setsuko) working with her dead fiance's sister. The engaged man had gone to war and never returned. (The Movie Database)
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Watchtower Suicide Squad (1943)
The story centres around a border security team in 1935 Korea. Upon receiving new recruits they hold a welcome party including a restaurant owner and his daughter. The border's commander has a wife (Hara Setsuko) who helps deliver a neighbour's baby. One day a border guard is killed by a Chinese bandit who is hiding in the area. The dead man's sister comes to visit and is given help to further her studies. (imdb)
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The Joy of Youth (1943)
During World War II a young woman quits university and instead obtains a job at a magazine about film that her mentor set up for her. The mentor herself is an actress. Here the woman meets Hara Setsuko as a colleague. The work is hard however. (imdb)
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Toward the Decisive Battle of the Sky (1943)
Toward the Decisive Battle in the Sky describes the challenging training of young boys in the Yokaren, a program feeding new pilots into the Army and Navy. By the time of the filming, the pressure of the war had led the government to shorten the training and expand the age range of the recruits. Yokaren was highly selective, and thus an object of great fascination and desire for boys and young men. In this Navy–sponsored film, ... (letterboxd)
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The Opium War (1943)
Two British brothers who are making money for their homeland are meeting buyers for opium in China. There is a police force to counter the dealers, but is not only ineffectual, but also corrupt and dealing in narcotics itself. Confronting the situation the government assigns an incognito bureaucrat to the issue. He confronts and arrests the police, but the bulk of the drugs is with the Britons. (imdb)
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Hawai Mare oki kaisen (1942)
Contemporaneous Japanese WWII film about war in the Pacific.
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Currents of Youth (1942)
It was supposed to be about a love story, but it was and was not. An aircraft mechanic working for the government is matched by his boss with the latter man's daughter (Setsuko Hara) who is both beautiful and aggressive. Yet, he picks a woman who is less assertive as his bride. (imdb)
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Wedding Day (1940)
A father with no wife has three daughters with the oldest one (played by Hara Setsuko) at the age to be married off, which means the man needs to re-marry in order for someone to take care of him and his daughters. With the eldest and father now married, there is tension and an uncomfortable distance between the two remaining daughters and the mother-in-law. (imdb)
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Women in Tokyo (1939)
This films is the story of a woman who enters the world of sales. She works at a company in Ginza, Tokyo as a typist. She determines that she needs money for her family and herself and asks her co-worker, who is a salesman, for guidance on sales. Armed with the information she begins in sales and is successful. Her original guide begins to feel strange about her. (imdb)
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Shanghai Landing Party (1939)
A documentary style film that depicts the battle in Shanghai during World War II using the city and its actual ruins as an actual backdrop to the narrative. The realism extended to the use of actual armaments and a tank as film devices. The film features Japanese star Hara Setsuko playing the role of a Chinese maiden. (imdb)
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Beautiful Departure (1939)
A rich bourgeoisie family has little care in the world and knows no other lifestyle. It is only the family's second daughter who has an insecure bone in her body and ponders a day when the good times might end. Then one day the family-owned company goes bankrupt and a new era begins. (imdb)
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The Giant (1938)
The last film of director Itami took inspiration from Les Miserables. Transpiring during the Southwestern War of 1877 in Japan, which was the last civil war in the country, a criminal escapes prison only to be found by a monk. The criminal decides to turn a new leaf based on their conversation and goes on to become a town's mayor. He hears news of a mistaken arrest and identity. The revelation of truth is the start of a series of miseries. (imdb)
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Pastoral Symphony (1938)
The story begins with a Christian father and elementary school headmaster in a snowy village in Hokkaido. He finds a blind girl near Sapporo and takes her in. His wife is unhappy with his decision, but he does not care and proceeds to educate her. Attending a concert of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony one day the adopted daughter is inspired. (imdb)
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Prosecutor And His Younger Sister (1937)
Two siblings lost their parents at a young age and grew up alone. The older brother becomes a prosecutor and the younger sister is about to marry. It seems the rest of their lives will be a fine one. There is a problem however. The brother is professionally pitted against the sister's fiancee. (imdb)
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Tôkai Bijoden (1937)
A samurai vengeance drama involving Christianity. (imdb)
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Atarashiki tsuchi (1937)
Young Japanese Teruo is returning from studying in Germany, financed by his rich stepfather. His stepfather expects him to marry his daughter, a marriage that had been arranged long ago. He rejects his designated wife until he realizes that he has to obey tradition...
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Kochiyama soshun (1936)
Based on a well-known Kabuki drama titled "Kochiyama to Naozamurai", which Yamanaka distills into a masterpiece of jidaigeki (period film) as shomingeki (everyman drama), blending the two into something he apparently had rights to entirely in Japan during the 30s. Through a series of intrigues, Kochiyama, Naojiro (who becomes Hirotaro for the film), Ichinijo, and Hirotaro's sister Onami (played by a young Hara Setsuko) all pretty much have the worst day or two of their lives. (Steven Harrison)
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