“Mizoguchi is one of the greatest masters who ever worked in the medium of film; he’s right up there with Renoir and Murnau and Ford, and after the war he made three pictures—The Life of Oharu, Ugetsu, and Sansho the Bailiff—that stand at the summit of cinema. All of his artistry is channeled into the most extraordinary simplicity. You’re face-to-face with something mysterious, tragically inevitable, and then, in the end, peacefully removed. I love all three of these pictures and many other Mizoguchi films as well (including Princess Yang Kwei-fei, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, and Miss Oyu, to name only a few), but Ugetsu has the most powerful effect on me. There are moments in the picture, famous ones, that I’ve seen again and again and that always take my breath away: the boat slowly materializing from out of the mist and coming toward us . . . Genjuro collapsing on the grass in ecstasy and being smothered by Lady Wakasa . . . the final crane up from the son making an offering at his mother’s grave to the fields beyond. Just to think of these moments now fills me with awe and wonder.” – Martin Scorsese (Courtesy of the Criterion Collection)
Restored by The Film Foundation and KADOKAWA Corporation at Cineric Laboratories in New York. Special thanks to Masahiro Miyajima and Martin Scorsese for their consultation on this restoration. Restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in association with The Film Foundation and KADOKAWA Corporation.