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These rare early films from Yasujiro Ozu are considered by many to be two of the Japanese directorís finest works, paving the way for a career among the most sensitive and significant in cinema. The Only Son and There Was a Father make a graceful pair, bookending a crucial period in Japanese history. In the former, Ozuís first sound film, made during a time of intense economic crisis, a mother sacrifices her own happiness for her sonís education; the latter, released in the midst of World War II, stars Ozu stalwart Chishu Ryu as a widowed schoolteacher whose devotion to his son ends up driving them apart. Criterion proudly presents these nearly lost treasures for the first time on home video. The Only Son Yasujiro Ozu 1936 Yasujiro Ozuís first talkie, the uncommonly poignant The Only Son is among the Japanese directorís greatest works, a simple story about a good-natured mother who gives up everything to ensure her sonís education and future. There Was a Father Yasujiro Ozu 1942 Yasujiro Ozuís frequent leading man Chishu Ryu is riveting as Shuhei, a widowed high school teacher who finds that the more he tries to do what is best for his sonís future, the more they are separated.

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Special Features * New high-definition digital transfers * New video interviews with film scholars Tadao Sato, David Bordwell, and Kristin Thompson * New and improved English subtitle translations * PLUS: Booklets featuring essays by critic and historian Tony Rayns, an appreciation of actor Chishu Ryu by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, and comments by Ryu on director Yasujiro Ozu

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CC524 Only Son/There Was a Father: Two Films by Yasujiro Ozu DVD (1936/1942) $39.95 $59.99