Color . 94 minutes

Shochiku Ofuna Studio

Written By

Ozu Yasujiro
Noda Kogo


Atsuta Yuharu

Music By

Mayuzumi Toshiro


Sata Keniji (Fukui Heichiro)
Kuga Yoshiko (Arita Setsuko)
Ryu Chishu (Hayashi Keitaro)
Miyake Kuniko (Tamiko)
Sugimura Haruko (Haraguchi Kikue)
Shigaraki Koji (Minoru)
Shimazu Masahiko (Isamu)
Shirata Hajime (Kozo)
Tanaka Haruo (Haraguchi)
Miyoshi Eiko (Haraguchi Grandma)
Takahashi Toyo (Okubo Shige)
Fujiki Masuo (Zen)
Tono Eijiro (Tomizawa)
Nagaoka Teruko (Mrs Tomizawa)

Scolded by their parents for missing their English lessons in order to watch sumo wrestling on their neighbor's newly acquired TV, brothers Minoru and Isamu take a vow of silence to pressure their father into buying one. Their behavior exacerbates relations between members of the local woman's club, where the loss of some club dues has lead to a spate of gossip, allegations and misunderstandings. At the same time, the boys' English teacher, Fukui, is in love with their aunt, but whenever they meet, they are too shy to express their feelings and instead exchange polite greetings. After getting into trouble at school for the vow of silence, the boys run away from home. When they come home, instead of being punished, there's a brand new TV in the house.

Thoughts from Ozu
I conceived this story ages ago. Human beings love idle prattle, but when it comes to saying something important at critical moments, they get tongue-tied. I wanted to make that the subject of a film, but once preparation got underway, things were not as easy as they seemed. I pitched the idea to the Directors' Association, and everybody thought it was an interesting subject. Yet when I offered them to let them turn it into a film, nobody rose to the occasion. So I made up my mind to do it myself. Although this story which was conceived a while ago had a rather bitter edge, as I got older, I was promoted by box office considerations to make a sidesplitting comedy. Well, to be precise, I wasn't so concerned about box office performance as wishing that more people would come and watch my film.


he 50th film, shot from January to April 1959. In November 1958, Ozu received the Purple Ribbon Medal, and in January 1959, he was honored with an award from the Japan Art Academy. His first film after these honors was typical for him. In a sudden change of pace, he made a film about farts, showing his joke spirit. However, the scenario had been completed in the previous year. Ozu had liked this gag since his silent films. The shooting of The Lady and the Beard was delayed, and the crew had to work overnight for five days. When human beings do not sleep for such a long time, they lose their appetite, but (it is said that) they pass wind easily. The overtired crew was joking on the set by pushing somebody's belly and passing wind himself, and the like. This is a pleasant gag, but not very effective in silent films. In Good Morning, this is not just a simple gag, but the biggest element, sounding throughout the film. However, since using the real sound would have been too lively, a wind instrument performs it artificially. The scene is laid in a new-built town somewhere in the western parts of Tokyo and confined to five houses. This film belongs to the "house of the suburbs" genre, also by its setting as by the central family of the office worker Kubote. The children like to joke with farts, reminding us vividly of I Was Born, But... of the past. However, the children are dissatisfied with their father because they do not have a television set at home, and problems are solved by the center of the town and the suburbs is weakened. This theme is about to disappear, since this tension and contrast disappears. In opposite proportion to the loosening of this tension, the housewives of these five houses interact in this restricted space (reminding us of the restricted space in early Ozu films). The limits of their actions correspond to the unreality and fictitiouness of this film's space. These five houses are almost as constricted as the tenement house in The Record of a Tenement Gentleman in a corner of the town that seems to have miraculously survived the devastation of war. Ozu's special interest in this film was rather the various uses of the color. Each drawer of a chest painted in a different color, the pattern of the dressing gown of the old mother in the Haraguchi family (played by Miyoshi Eiko) and other examples show that Ozu joyfully played with his new toy: "color".

Articles / Essays
Good Morning
by Matthew Dessem (Criterion Contraption)

Personal Thoughts and Comments
Ozu's 1959 Good Morning is said to be a loose remake of his monumental 1932 silent film I Was Born, But..., though the similarities between the two films are rather minor as they are clearly unique in both tone and narrative. As with any Ozu film it's simplistic techniques do not discourage the complex depths and themes which result. Ultimately, Good Morning is a delightful film of contemporary Japanese society and consumerism within a suburban household, as well as an examination into communication and community. It's a comedy which is presented with satire, but it never becomes political and the calm and intelligent filmmaking from Ozu results in an equally profound and funny film (even if there are many "bodily function" jokes throughout). Ozu is one of the very greatest directors of children and the children here are outstanding (notably in their expressive vow of silence). Ozu presents the film in glorious Agfacolor and it's beauty wonderfully captures the atmosphere and energy of the film, the suburbs of Japan, and the characters of the film.

Film Images

"Pillow Shots"
A clip from Good Morning
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