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A Page of Madness

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Director  Teinosuke Kinugasa
Story by  Yasunari Kawabata
7.7/10 IMDb

10/10 Letterboxd

Genre  Drama, Horror
Country  Japan
A Page of Madness movie poster
Language  Silent film Japanese titles
Writer  Teinosuke Kinugasa, Yasunari Kawabata, Banko Sawada, Minoru Inuzuka
Release date  24 September 1926 (1926-09-24)
Initial release  September 24, 1926 (Japan)
Cast  Masuo Inoue (Custodian), Yoshie Nakagawa (Custodian's wife), Ayala Iijima (Daughter), Misao Seki (Doctor), Minoru Takase (Crazy Man A), Tetsu Tsuboi (Crazy Man C)
Screenplay  Teinosuke Kinugasa, Yasunari Kawabata, Minoru Inuzuka, Banko Sawada
Similar movies  The Last Samurai, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Rising Sun, 13 Assassins, Why Don't You Play in Hell?, The Bridge on the River Kwai

Dance riot in the asylum a page of madness 1926

A Page of Madness (狂った一頁, Kurutta Ippēji or Kurutta Ichipeiji) is a silent film by Japanese film director Teinosuke Kinugasa, made in 1926. It was lost for forty-five years until being rediscovered by Kinugasa in his storehouse in 1971. The film is the product of an avant-garde group of artists in Japan known as the Shinkankakuha (or School of New Perceptions) who tried to overcome naturalistic representation.


A Page of Madness wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters52384p52384

Yasunari Kawabata, who would win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, was credited on the film with the original story. He is often cited as the film's screenwriter, and a version of the scenario is printed in his complete works, but the scenario is now considered a collaboration between Kawabata, Kinugasa, Banko Sawada, and Minoru Inuzuka. Eiji Tsuburaya is credited as an assistant cameraman.

A Page of Madness A Page of Madness 1926 MUBI

A page of madness kurutta ippeji 1926 japanese silent film


A Page of Madness Midnight Eye feature A Page of Madness

The film takes place in an asylum, in the countryside. Amid a torrential rainstorm, a janitor wanders through the halls revealing the various patients suffering from mental illness. The next day, a young woman arrives at the asylum and is surprised to see her father, the janitor, working there. Her mother is an inmate in the asylum, and she had gone insane due to the cruelty of her husband when he was a sailor. The janitor, feeling guilty, had taken a job at the asylum to take care of her. The daughter announces that she is about to get married to a fine young man, but the janitor begins to worry, since society at the time still maintained the prejudiced view that mental illness is inherited. If the young man's family learns about the mother, the marriage might be called off.

A Page of Madness For Criterion Consideration Teinosuke Kinugasas A Page Of Madness

At work, his relationship with his wife, which is not known to the asylum, interferes with his job, as he gets into a fight with some male inmates when his wife his hit, and is sternly scolded by the head doctor. All this sparks the janitor to experience a number of fantasies, as he slowly loses control of the border between dreams and reality. He first has a daydream about winning a chest of drawers at a lottery that he could give to his daughter as part of her dowry. When his daughter comes to tell him her marriage is in trouble, he thinks about taking his wife away from the asylum so as to hide her existence. Finally, he fantasizes about killing the head doctor, but that reverie goes out of hand as a bearded inmate is seen marrying his daughter. The janitor finally dreams of distributing masks to the inmates, providing them at last with happy faces. He returns to work mopping the floors, no longer able to visit his wife's ward because he had lost the keys. He sees the bearded inmate pass by, who bows to him for the first time, as if bowing to his father in law.


A Page of Madness A Page of Madness 1926 Japanese Silent Film Depicts Asylum Terrors

The film does not contain intertitles, making it difficult to follow. The print existing today is missing nearly a third of what was shown in theaters in 1926. Showings in 1920s Japan would have included live narration by a storyteller or benshi (弁士) as well as musical accompaniment. The famous benshi Musei Tokugawa narrated the film at the Musashinokan theater in Shinjuku in Tokyo.


  • Masao Inoue as the custodian
  • Ayako Iijima as the custodian's daughter
  • Yoshie Nakagawa as the custodian's wife
  • Hiroshi Nemoto as the fiancé
  • Misao Seki as the chief doctor
  • Minoru Takase as patient A
  • Eiko Minami as the dancer
  • Kyosuke Takamatsu as patient B, the bearded inmate
  • Tetsu Tsuboi as patient C
  • Shintarō Takiguchi as the gateman's son
  • References

    A Page of Madness Wikipedia
    A Page of Madness IMDbA Page of Madness Rotten TomatoesA Page of Madness LetterboxdA Page of Madness