(aka 'Early Summer' or "Bakushű ")

directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Japan 1951


  The Mayima family is seeking a husband for their daughter, Noriko, but she has ideas of her own. Played by the extraordinary Setsuko Hara, Noriko impulsively chooses her childhood friend, at once fulfilling her family's desires while tearing them apart. A seemingly simple story, it is among the director’s most emotionally complex—a nuanced examination of life's changes across three generations. Another enduring Ozu classics.


Theatrical Release: October 3rd, 1951 - Japan

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DVD Review: Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 240 - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:04:48
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.13 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
•  Audio commentary by Japanese-film expert Donald Richie, author of Ozu and A Hundred Years of Japanese Film
•  Ozu’s Films from Behind-the-Scenes, a conversation about Ozu and his working methods, featuring a number of his collaborators, such as child-actor and sound technician Kojiro Suematsu, assistant cameraman Takashi Kawamata, and Ozu producer Shizuo Yamanouchi
•  Original theatrical trailer
•  New and improved English subtitle translation
•  Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
•  Plus: a new essay by film scholar David Bordwell, author Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema, and an essay about Ozu by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch

DVD Release Date: July 20, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 28

I have seen this film in a number of formats but this is by far the best it has ever looked. It has some minor damage (vertical scratches,  etc.) mostly in the first 1/3 of the film, but that is all. The image does seem a little bright to me, but I see no evidence of digital manipulation. I suspect the print used was quite acceptable and Criterion did some (minor) restoration. Contrast is Criterion's hallmark and this DVD is no exception.  Did I say 'contrast' was Criterion's strong suit? I almost forgot 'subtitles' - which are the best in all of DVD production (compared to the Panorama Ozu DVDs this is a true revelation). Sound is remastered and consistent. the Extras (commentary - that I haven't had the opportunity to delve into yet, shorts, trailer, essay) are typical of the greatest DVD production company in the entire world - strike that - UNIVERSE! If you don't purchase this DVD, then you don't know the value of the Digital Versatile Disc medium... and cinema. out of

I've given up creating my own subtitles for the Region 3 "Late Spring" because I am sure Criterion (who owns the rights) will bring us another stellar DVD soon!

Gary W. Tooze


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)



The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Ritchie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,


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