A Majority of One

Watch A Majority of One

"That joyful hit of the stage is the big, bright delight of the screen !"
  • Approved
  • 1961
  • 2 hr 36 min
  • 6.8  (1,140)

A Majority of One is a dramatic comedy film from 1961 that tells the story of two widowed individuals, Bertha Jacoby, a Jewish widow, and Koichi Asano, a Japanese widower, who find themselves connected in an unlikely friendship that begins during a trip to Tokyo under emotionally difficult circumstances. The film highlights their cultural differences and explores the challenges and joys of interfaith and intercultural relationships.

The movie begins with Bertha Jacoby (Rosalind Russell), a Brooklyn-based widow with a daughter Alice, preparing to leave for Tokyo to visit her son Jerry (Ray Danton), who works there. Bertha is a stubborn woman, fiercely proud of her Jewish heritage and culture, and resistant to the idea of connecting with Japanese people. However, her journey takes an unexpected turn when she meets Koichi Asano (Alec Guinness), a widowed Japanese businessman who also lost his beloved wife and whom Bertha had met on their flight to Tokyo.

Bertha and Koichi are thrown together by coincidence and mutual loss, but as they slowly learn about each other's cultures and backgrounds, they begin to develop a friendship that challenges their preconceptions and biases. Bertha is initially hostile to Koichi and his ways, but as she learns more about Japan through him, she starts to soften and open up to the possibility of accepting and respecting his culture. Similarly, Koichi, who has been struggling to come to terms with his wife's death and his estrangement from his daughter, finds comfort in Bertha's unwavering support and friendship.

Despite their cultural differences and occasional disagreements, Bertha and Koichi form a strong bond that is further tested when Jerry confronts his mother about Koichi's offer of marriage. Knowing that Bertha is resistant to the idea of marrying someone from a different culture, Jerry is conflicted about his mother's decision, but ultimately decides to support her. Meanwhile, Koichi faces opposition from his daughter, who disapproves of his relationship with a Jewish woman. As their loved ones voice their concerns, Bertha and Koichi must decide whether their bond is unbreakable, and whether they are willing to overcome societal prejudices to build a future together.

The movie features a superb performance from Rosalind Russell, who portrays Bertha as an outspoken but empathetic woman, and Alec Guinness, who brings depth and nuance to his portrayal of Koichi. The chemistry between the two leads is palpable, and their scenes together are a highlight of the movie. The supporting cast, including Ray Danton, Maureen Delaney, and Marc Marno, all deliver strong performances.

The film tackles themes of intercultural relationships, interfaith marriages, loss, grief, prejudice, and belonging, with a deft hand. It also showcases the beauty and richness of Jewish and Japanese culture, highlighting their similarities and differences, and offering a poignant commentary on the importance of embracing diversity and building bridges across divides.

Overall, A Majority of One is a heartwarming and poignant movie that offers a timeless message of acceptance, empathy, and human connection. Although it was released in 1961, its themes are as relevant today as they were then, and its message of hope and unity continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.

A Majority of One
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (1,140)