Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Akira Kurosawa's swansong is a delicate, sentimental portrait of his long avowed hero, educator and literary figure Hyakken Uchida. At the film's opening, Uchida -- a professor of German literature at a military school where he is beloved for his wisdom and his impish humor -- is delivering his final lecture to his adoring students. Near the end of the speech, one student in the back rises up and declares, without guile or irony, that their teacher is "pure gold, gold without any impurities." He retires to his small Tokyo home to concentrate on his writing and to be with his wife (Kyoko Kagawa). In spite of his emeritus status, the bond between him and his students remains strong. Two students (Hisashi Igawa and George Tokoro) decide to tease their teacher by breaking into his house to steal his bowler. Uchida responds by placing a sign reading "Burglar's Entrance" over his garden door. In spite of an Allies raid on Tokyo, which levels his house, forcing he and his wife to move to an even more modest abode, Uchida's wit remains sharp and spirits remain high. The loss of his cat, Nora, proves to be a much more heartbreaking affair.
professor, retirement, respect, student, house, wife, cat