Donzoko (The Lower Depths)
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Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa transferred the setting of Maxim Gorky's play The Lower Depths from Imperial Russia to his own country's Edo Period--which, like Gorky's 19th-century setting, was an era of great cultural advances, offset by the miseries of those who weren't in the aristocracy. Kurosawa's film concentrates on Toshiro Mifune, playing a crooked gambler who falls in love with the sister (Kyoko Kagawa) of his cruel landlady (Isuzu Yamada). Herself carrying a torch for Mifune, the landlady exacts a roundabout revenge by killing her own husband and pinning the… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This is the purpose of the picture, to make one suffer and sympathize with them. Kurosawa's darkly imagistic technique achieves this depressing aim."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Bleak comedy about a virtual flophouse in Edo-period Japan based on Gorky's play. Top-flight ensemble performance."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"For the first hour and fifteen minutes of the movie, we make only limited excursions out of the tenement, and it begins to feel as though we've moved in ourselves. Kurosawa may have intended this, but it doesn't make for very satisfying viewing."
‑ Jake Euker, Filmcritic.com
More reviews for Donzoko (The Lower Depths) on Rotten Tomatoes