There Was a Father
There Was a Father (1942)

A widowed high school teacher finds that the more he tries to do what is best for his son's future, the more they are separated.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1942
DVD Release Date: August 31, 2010
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

Within the framework of the aching melodrama the director daringly highlights the weight of tradition and duty that crushes the individual spirit.

Full review…
Sean Axmaker
Parallax View

... an indisputable masterpiece, a work of grace and simplicity that feels as timeless now as it was timely then.

Full review…

Beautifully shot, this is a quiet but powerful drama that makes the most of a skilled cast and a variety of striking locations.

Full review…
Trevor Johnston
Time Out

The issue of separation acquired a particular poignancy in wartime, it goes without saying, but Ryu's stoic underplaying offers a heartbreaking performance for the ages.

Full review…
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

a poignant, even tragic portrait of the nature of sacrifice

Full review…
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Ozu's most Buddhist, didactic, Japanese and patriarchal film.

Full review…
Don Druker
Chicago Reader

A delicate, straightforward exhortation to duty and sacrifice, presented with both humor and a kind of unforced serenity.

Full review…
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

An almost unwittingly political, (unusual for Ozu) as well as artistic, triumph.

Full review…
Sean Axmaker
Turner Classic Movies Online

If There Was a Father celebrates obedience as a virtue and duty the highest calling on the surface, there is an ambiguity in Ozu's tone.

Full review…
More reviews for There Was a Father

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
danny d
a vastly underrated ozu classic. there was a surprising political element, rare for ozu even during the wartime censorship, but that didnt overwhelm the film… More