These rare early films from Yasujiro Ozu are considered by many to be two of the Japanese director’s finest works, paving the way for a career among the most sensitive and significant in cinema. The Only Son and There Was a Father make a graceful pair, bookending a crucial period in Japanese history. In the former, Ozu’s first sound film, made during a time of intense economic crisis, a mother sacrifices her own happiness for her son’s education; the latter, released in the midst of World War II, stars Ozu stalwart Chishu Ryu as a widowed schoolteacher whose devotion to his son ends up driving them apart. Criterion proudly presents these nearly lost treasures for the first time on home video.
*SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DVD SET*
* New high-definition digital transfers
* New video interviews with film scholars Tadao Sato, David Bordwell, and Kristin Thompson
* New and improved English subtitle translations
* PLUS: Booklets featuring essays by critic and historian Tony Rayns, an appreciation of actor Chishu Ryu by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie, and comments by Ryu on director Yasujiro Ozu
_New covers by Adrian Tomine_