6.7/10
13,260
193 user 96 critic

Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)

A Japanese-American fisherman is accused of killing his neighbor at sea. In the 1950s, race figures into the trial. So does reporter Ishmael.

Director:

Scott Hicks

Writers:

David Guterson (novel), Ronald Bass (screenplay) (as Ron Bass) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Hawke ... Ishmael Chambers
Yûki Kudô ... Hatsue Miyamoto (as Youki Kudoh)
Reeve Carney ... Young Ishmael Chambers
Anne Suzuki ... Young Hatsue Imada
Rick Yune ... Kazuo Miyamoto
Max von Sydow ... Nels Gudmundsson (as Max Von Sydow)
James Rebhorn ... Alvin Hooks
James Cromwell ... Judge Fielding
Richard Jenkins ... Sheriff Art Moran
Arija Bareikis ... Susan Marie Heine
Eric Thal ... Carl Heine Jr.
Celia Weston ... Etta Heine
Daniel von Bargen ... Carl Heine Sr. (as Daniel Von Bargen)
Akira Takayama ... Hisao Imada
Ako ... Fujiko Imada
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Storyline

It's 1950 on San Pedro Island in the American Pacific Northwest. Commercial fisher Carl Heine Jr.'s dead body is pulled out of the water in a fishing net by his crew, he who died of head trauma. Kazuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. Carl and Kazuo were once friends, had known each other since childhood, but WWII has placed a strain on any sort of relationship between the ethic Japanese and Caucasian populations of the area, the Japanese population which was and is still substantial on the island. Carl had motive regarding a land dispute between the two families, land which Carl's mother eventually sold from under the Miyamotos and which Carl had just repurchased. Evidence also points to Kazuo being on the water with Carl probably sometime during his last voyage, evidence which Kazuo knew would put him in a bad light, adding on top of being Japanese, and thus decided not to disclose to the investigating sheriff at the time he was questioned. Kazuo and his wife Hatsue's fear come ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

First loves last. Forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, sensuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | German

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mientras nieva sobre los cedros See more »

Filming Locations:

Cathlamet, Washington, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,135, 26 December 1999

Gross USA:

$14,417,593

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,049,593
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Cromwell talked about the importance of the story to modern audiences, saying "This is that rare kind of film which informs an audience and alters its perception. Even though I knew this history, it's still compelling. When you adjust your view, you can see it's still mirrored in the events of today." See more »

Goofs

The story is set in Washington State, on the U.S. Pacific coast. The lighthouse shown in the opening scenes is Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, just outside Portland, on the Atlantic coast. George Washington commissioned its construction, and it's featured on the Maine State U.S. Quarter. See more »

Quotes

Young Hatsue Imada: [snuggling] Do you think this is wrong?
Young Ishmael Chambers: Your friends would. Your dad would kill me.
Young Hatsue Imada: My mom is the problem.
Fujiko Imada: [remembering her mother's voice] Stay away from white boys. Marry one of your own kind, whose heart is strong and gentle.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jan Rubes and Sheila Moore are on the credits despite their scenes being deleted. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Horrible Bosses (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon over Burma
Written by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander), Frank Loesser
Performed by Dorothy Lamour
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Good & Bad Of 'Snow Falling On Cedars'
12 August 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

As the referees say on pro football TV games, "On further review......" That's the way I thought after my second viewing of this movie.

GOOD NEWS - On the first look, I was totally blown away and dazzled at the fabulous cinematography. Man, this is one of the prettiest movies I've ever seen.....and that's important for my entertainment. Scene after scene looks like some picture postcard. I also enjoyed the two lawyers in this film, played by James Rebhorn and Max VonSydow. Sometimes those two were riveting to watch.

BAD NEWS - Most of the story was anything but riveting, way too slow and with way too much time used on flashbacks. This story could have been told in a much more presentable way which could have kept the audience's attention. It's also a little too politically-correct. We were beaten over the head with the prejudice against Japanese. Everyone here, except the Liberal newspaper editor and his son, is portrayed as extremely bigoted.

Overall, a spectacular visual film - one of the best ever - but a story that takes interminably long to tell.....too long.


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