Note: titles with hyperlinks connect to posts containing my reviews, published on this site. If an unlinked title includes an asterisk after it, it signifies that a draft review for that title has been written, but has not yet been posted on this site.
If there are several possible English titles for a film, generally the most commonly-used one is cited.
All films that are completely or partly extant are in boldface type. All titles not in boldface are missing and presumed lost.
This filmography only includes films that Uchida directed or co-directed; films in which he appeared only as an actor are excluded. Also excluded are one other film and one television series in which he was involved. On an obscure, independently-produced 1955 film, House with a Persimmon Tree (Kaki no ki no aru ie), Uchida served as supervising producer; the movie was directed by Koga Masato, who had served as assistant director on Uchida’s lost 1940 Rekichi (History) trilogy (see below). For the 1969 television series Muyōnosuke (Useless Nosuke, NHK), according to Japanese Wikipedia, he served as “supervisor” on the series as a whole, but apparently didn’t personally direct any of the 19 episodes. According to the same source, Uchida was responsible for selecting for the title role Ibuki Goro, later to become well-known as a film and television actor. (He also wanted to cast him in a proposed version of the “Lone Wolf and Cub” manga series, later to be filmed (without Ibuki) by Misumi Kenji and others.)
Unless indicated otherwise in parentheses and italics after the English title, all of Uchida’s films from the prewar and war periods were produced and released by Nikkatsu. Unless indicated otherwise in parentheses and italics after the English title, all films from 1955 to the end of Uchida’s career were produced and released by Toei.
All films before 1937 are silent, unless noted with “(SO)” [sound] after the English title. All films after 1956 are color films unless noted with “(BW)” after the English title. All films after 1956 are in widescreen format unless noted with “(NWS)” after the English title.
For silent films, except in a few cases, length (when known) is given in reels or meters, as there was no consistent projection speed during that period. (Films in Japan in that era, particularly in rural areas, were often hand-cranked.)
The KJ Best Ten refers to the critics’ awards given annually, from 1926 to the present day, by Kinema Junpo (“Cinema Times”) Magazine to the ten films that the voting critics had judged as the best Japanese productions of that year. Uchida’s films appeared in the Best Ten list 13 times during his career (once posthumously), and he won the coveted “Best One” award twice (for films released in 1937 and 1939).
Abbreviations for home video countries of issue are: J = Japan; U = United States; F = France. (We do not keep track when a title goes out of print.)
During his career as a director, Uchida released no films in 1923, 1926, 1941, 1943-1954 (12 years), 1966, 1967, 1969 and 1970. One film was released posthumously in 1971.
|Year||Japanese Title||Romanized Title||English Title||Length||KJ Best Ten||DVD or Blu-Ray||Notes|
|1922||噫小西巡査||Aa, Konishi junsa||Ah, Officer Konishi (Makino Educational Films; Nikkatsu (dist.))||6 reels||NA||Co-directed with Teinosuke Kinugasa|
|1924||延命院の傴僂男||Enmei-in no semushi-otoko||The Hunchback of Enmei-in (Kokkatsu)||?||NA||According to Anderson and Richie, this was an uncredited remake of Wallace Worsley’s 1923 Hollywood film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (an adaptation of the famous Victor Hugo novel, Notre-Dame de Paris), which “… lack[ed] nothing except the original’s Lon Chaney.”1|
|1925||戦争||Senso||War (Kokujo)||8 reels||NA||Uchida either co-directed or served as second unit director to Shoji Murakoshi|
|義血||Giketsu||Honorable Blood (Kokujo)||?||NA|
|蟹満寺縁起||Kaniman-ji Engi||Tale of Crab Temple (Asahi Kinema)||1 reel (11 min.)||NA||Uchida’s earliest surviving film and only animated work, co-directed with Okuda Hidehiko and Kimura Hakusan; accessible on YouTube (with Japanese intertitles)|
|地獄谷||Jigokudani||Hell Valley (studio unknown)||?||NA||Co-director as second-unit director: the main director was Shoji Murakoshi|
|少年美談清き心||Shonen bidan: Kiyoki kokoro||Moving Tales of Youth: The Pure Heart (Shakai Kyōiku Kenkyū-jo)||37 min.||NA||J||Accessible via YouTube (with Japanese intertitles)|
|虚栄は地獄||Kyoei wa jigoku (About 15 minutes extant)||Vanity Is Hell (Asahi Kinema)||467 meters||NA||May be complete short subject rather than fragment; only film Uchida directed in which he also appeared as an actor|
|1927||競走三日間||Kyoso mikkakan||Three Days of Competition||1280 meters||First film for Nikkatsu; first film with Kosugi Isamu and Shima Kōji|
|未来の出世||Mirai no shusai||Rising in the World||1596 meters|
|漕艇王||Sotei-o (about 30 percent extant)||The Rowing King||2154 meters||Earliest surviving sports comedy; accessible on YouTube (with English subtitles)|
|東洋武侠団||Toyo bukyo-dan||Chivalrous Company of the Orient||2183 meters|
|なまけ者||Namakemono||The Idler||1422 meters||First screenplay credit by Uchida, from his own original story|
|砲煙弾雨||Hoendanu||Cannon Smoke and Rain of Shells||1608 meters|
|1928||のみすけ禁酒騒動||Nomisuke kinshu sodo||Trials of a Tippler’s Temperance||2379 meters|
|地球は廻る 第三部 空想篇||Chikyu wa mawaru: Dai-san-bu kuso hen||The World Turns, Part 3: Fantasy Chapter||?||According to Peter High, Uchida’s segment in this trilogy of films was a futuristic fantasy about Japanese cities being bombed by a foreign power; the other two parts were directed by Tasaka Tomotaka and Abe Yutaka2|
|けちんぼ長者 (ケチンボ長者)||Kechinbo choja||The Miserly Millionaire||1505 meters|
|1929||娑婆の風||Shaba no kaze||The Way of This Corrupt World||2219 meters|
|生ける人形||Ikeru ningyō||A Living Puppet||2340 meters||4||First Uchida film to appear on the KJ Best Ten list (at #4); considered part of the keikō eiga (left-tendency film) movement of the time|
|日活行進曲 運動篇||Nikkatsu koshinkyoku: Undo hen (Supotsu-hen)||Nikkatsu March: Sports Chapter||?|
|大洋児出船の港||Taiyoji defune no minato||The Sea-Loving Son Sails Away||2665 meters|
|喜劇・汗||Kigeki: Ase||Sweat||1500 meters||Uchida’s earliest extant feature film, not Police Officer (1933, see below) as widely believed|
|連戦連勝||Rensenrensho||Successive Victories [edited only]||Compilation film edited from Cannon Smoke and Rain of Shells, As the World Turns and other directors’ films to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Japan’s victory in the 1905 war|
|1930||天国其日帰り||Tengoku sono higaeri||Return to Heaven||1462 meters||J||Note: Sources say this film exists in its entirety, but the circulating version consists of mere fragments|
|1931||ジャンバルジャン 前後篇||Jan Barujan||Jean Valjean||4471 meters||Two-part adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, both parts released on the same date; first multipart film directed by Uchida alone|
|日本嬢(ミスニッポン)||Misu Nippon||Miss Nippon||2467 meters|
|三面記事||Sanmenkiji||Stories of Human Interest||1283 meters|
|仇討選手||Adauchi senshu||The Revenge Champion||3176 meters||6||First of Uchida’s period (jidai-geki) films to appear in the KJ Best Ten list. (A clip of this film apparently exists.)3|
|1932||大地に立つ 前篇 後篇||Daichi ni tatsu: Kohen; Daichi ni tatsu: Zempen||Mother Earth Rises, Parts I and II||1780 meters; 2188 meters|
|愛は何処までも||Ai wa doko made mo||Love Through Thick and Thin||1819 meters|
|1933||叫ぶ亜細亜||Sakebu Ajia||Asia Cries Out (Shin Eiga-sha)||2280 meters||Only film Uchida made for an independent company founded by the “team of seven” filmmakers, which soon folded; according to Peter High, this was apparently a pro-militarist film;4 according to Anderson and Richie, this was the first Japanese talkie ever made on location in a foreign country, though as it is lost, this can’t be verified5|
|警察官||Keisatsukan||Police Officer (Shinko)||91 min /121 min 6||J||First of four films Uchida made for the minor studio Shinko|
|1934||河の上の太陽||Kawa no ue no taiyo||Sun Over the River (Shinko)||2808 meters|
|熱風||Neppu||Hot Wind (Shinko)||2863 meters|
|1935||白銀の王座 前篇 後篇||Hakugin no oza – Kohen; Hakugin no oza – Zempen||The Silver Throne, Parts I and II (Shinko)||2299 meters; 1645 meters|
|1936||人生劇場・青春篇||Jinsei gekijō – Seishun hen (about 60 percent extant)||Theater of Life: Youth Version (SO)||118 min.||2||J||First adaptation of Ozaki Shirō’s popular novel; Uchida filmed the “Youth” part of this two-part film; Chiba Yasuki filmed Part Two, released in 1938 (see Jinsei-gekijo: Hishakaku to Kiratsune (1968) below)|
|生命の冠||Seimei no kanmuri [Inoshi no kanmuri] (about 55 percent extant)||Crown of Life||54 min.||J||Uchida’s last silent film; only film with Hara Setsuko|
|1937||裸の町||Hadaka no machi||The Naked Town||121 min.||5||Final film with Shima Kōji|
|限りなき前進||Kagirinaki zenshin (about 80 percent extant)||Unending Advance||99 min. (74 min., current version)||1||Severely cut by Nikkatsu after the war 7|
|1938||東京千一夜||Tokyo sen’ichi ya||A Thousand and One Nights in Tokyo||61 min.||Allegedly, Uchida “appropriated” funds earmarked for this film to finance the completion of Earth (see below)|
|1939||土||Tsuchi (about 80 percent extant in most complete version)||Earth||142 min. (original); exists in 93, 115 and 117 min. versions||1||J||Allegedly, this film was completed clandestinely against the will of the studio; received award from the Ministry of Education; tied for 4th place (with Kurosawa’s Drunken Angel (Yoidore Tenshi) in a 1959 critics’ poll of the best Japanese productions of all time; copies preserved only in East German and Russian archives|
|中支散見||Chushi Sanken||Central China [edited only]||?||Edited short subject consisting of footage taken from Tasaka Tomotaka’s Mud and Soldiers|
|1940||歴史 ／ 第1部 動乱戊辰 , 第2部 焦土建設、第3部 黎明日本||Rekishi: Daiichibu: Doran Boshin; Rekishi: Dainibu: Shodo kensetsu; Rekishi: Daisanbu: Reimei Nihon||History Part I: Upheaval During the Boshin War; History Part II: Scorched Earth and Construction; History Part III: Dawn of Japan||?||7 (Part One only)||Three-part film released in two installments over two weeks in 1940|
|1942||鳥居強右衛門||Torii Suneemon||Torii Suneemon (Shochiku)||?||Only film for Shochiku; last “lost” film|
|1955||血槍富士||Chiyari Fuji||A Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji||94 mins.||8||J, U, F||First film after Uchida’s return from China and first film for Toei; remake of a 1927 silent film; first film with Kataoka Chiezō|
|たそがれ酒場||Tasogare Sakaba||Twilight Saloon (Shintoho)||94 mins.||J||Only film for Shintoho; final film with Kosugi Isamu|
|自分の穴の中で||Jibun no ana no nakade||A Hole of My Own Making (Nikkatsu)||125 mins.||J||First film with Mikuni Rentarō; final film for Nikkatsu|
|1956||黒田騒動||Kuroda sodo||The Kuroda Affair||109 min.|
|逆襲獄門砦||Gyakushu gokumon toride||Rebellion from Below||94 mins.|
|1957||暴れん坊街道||Abarenbo kaido||The Horse Boy (BW) (NWS)||95 mins.||Entered in the 1957 Berlin Film Festival|
|大菩薩峠||Daibosatsu tōge I||Sword in the Moonlight I||106 min.||J||First episode of the first of two surviving multipart works directed by Uchida (the other being Miyamoto Musashi); his first color and first widescreen film and first film with Nakamura Kinnosuke|
|どたんば||Dotanba||The Eleventh Hour (BW)||109 min.||7||J||Remake of a TV movie of the same name|
|1958||千両獅子||Senryō-jishi||The Thief Is Shogun’s Kin 8||91 min.|
|大菩薩峠 第二部||Daibosatsu tōge II||Sword in the Moonlight, Part II||105 min.|
|森と湖のまつり||Mori to mizuumi no matsuri||The Outsiders||113 min.||J||First film with Takakura Ken|
|1959||大菩薩峠・完結篇||Daibosatsu tōge III||Sword in the Moonlight, Part III||106 min.|
|大氷河を行||Nanbei Patagonia tanken: daihyoga o yuku||Voyage to Patagonia: Crossing the Great Glacier) (Mainichi Movie Company documentary) [edited only]||88 min.||Uchida’s only documentary; credited as “supervisor,” though he didn’t shoot any footage; not known if ever shown publicly|
|浪花の恋の物語||Naniwa no koi no monogatari||Chikamatsu’s Love in Osaka||105 min.||7||J, F|
|1960||酒と女と槍||Sake to onna to yari||The Master Spearman||99 min.||J, F|
|妖刀物語 ／ 花の吉原百人斬り||Yōtō monogatari: Hana no Yoshiwara Hyakunin giri||Hero of the Red Light District||109 min.||J, F|
|1961||宮本武蔵||Miyamoto Musashi||Musashi Miyamoto||110 min.||J, U||First episode of the second of two surviving multipart works directed by Uchida|
|1962||恋や恋なすな恋||Koiya koi nasuna koi||The Mad Fox||109 min.||J, U, F||Entered in the 1962 Venice Film Festival|
|宮本武蔵・般若坂の決斗||Miyamoto Musashi: Hannyazaka no ketto||Musashi Miyamoto II: Duel at Hannya Hill||107 min.||J, U|
|1963||宮本武蔵・二刀流開眼||Miyamoto Musashi: Nitoryu kaigen||Musashi Miyamoto III: Birth of the Nito-ryu Style||104 min.||J, U|
|1964||宮本武蔵・一乗寺の決斗||Miyamoto Musashi: Ichijoji no ketto||Musashi Miyamoto IV: Duel at Ichijyo-ji Temple||128 min.||J, U|
|1965||飢餓海峡||Kiga kaikyo||A Fugitive from the Past * (BW)||192 min. (original); also 167, 175 and 183 min. versions||5 (in the 1964 poll) 9||J, F||Extensively edited by Toei against Uchida’s wishes: two separate versions (167 minutes and 183 minutes) were approved as a compromise; voted the third-best Japanese film of all time in the KJ 1999 centennial critics’ poll|
|宮本武蔵・巌流島の決斗||Miyamoto Musashi: Ganryu-jima no ketto||Musashi Miyamoto V: Duel at Ganryu Island||121 min.||J, U||Final film with Kataoka Chiezō|
|1968||人生劇場・飛車角と吉良常||Jinsei-gekijo: Hishakaku to Kiratsune||A Tale of Two Yakuza||109 min.||9||J||Final film for Toei; based on the same Ozaki Shirō novel as Theater of Life: Youth Version (1936, see above), but from a different part of the book; final film with Takakura Ken|
|1971||真剣勝負||Shinken shobu||Swords of Death (Toho)||75 min.||6||J||Only film for Toho, though allegedly unfinished; only posthumously-released film; final film with Mikuni Rentarō and Nakamura Kinnosuke; won an award at the 1972 Taormina Film Festival: the only Uchida film to win a foreign festival award|
- Anderson, Joseph L. and Richie, Donald. The Japanese Film: Art and Industry – Expanded Edition, p. 330. Princeton University Press. ISBN: 0691007926 (paperback).
- High, Peter B. The Imperial Screen, pp. 11-12. University of Wisconsin Press, 2003. ISBN: 0299181340.
- Apparently, a very brief fragment of this film (less than 30 seconds) has been preserved. According to film scholar Aaron Gerow, as explained on his website, at the time the movie was released, such short clips of popular films were sold in retail venues like department stores, to be viewed by film fans as home movies on toy projectors, and it appears that such a clip is the only bit of the film that has survived. It was originally part of the “Toy Film (“omocha eiga” (おもちゃ映画)) Project” of the Osaka University of Arts, with the collection later moved to the present-day Toy Film Museum of Kyoto. This page clearly displays this movie as part of a collection of clips featuring the film’s popular star, Okochi Denjirō, though it gives no additional information, including the duration of the clip. However, because of the very fragmentary nature of this excerpt, I can’t accurately rate this work as “partly extant,” particularly since I have not been to the museum to see whether the clip is even viewable.
- High, op.cit., p. 34
- Anderson and Richie, op. cit., p. 152.
- Running lengths vary based upon projection speed.
- Edited by Nikkatsu, with the original tragic ending changed to a happy one. When Uchida returned from China, he forced the studio to re-edit the film to provide explanatory title cards to preserve his original intent.
- This title is so obscure, I don’t know for certain if it was shot in color. According to the record of the print held at the National Film Archive of Japan (NFAJ), the film is in black-and- white, but no information is given about whether it is in widescreen format.
- This film was originally scheduled for a November 1964 release and was presumably screened for critics at that time; hence, its appearance in the poll for the “wrong” year.