36 user 6 critic

A Majority of One (1961)

A gentle love story about a Japanese businessman and widower, and a Brooklyn widow. But before a happy ending can ensue, they must learn again the lessons of tolerance, kindness, and forgiveness.


Mervyn LeRoy


Leonard Spigelgass (play), Leonard Spigelgass (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Rosalind Russell ... Bertha Jacoby
Alec Guinness ... Koichi Asano
Ray Danton ... Jerry Black
Madlyn Rhue ... Alice Black
Mae Questel ... Essie Rubin (as Mae Questal)
Marc Marno Marc Marno ... Eddie
Gary Vinson ... Mr. McMillan
Sharon Hugueny ... Bride
Frank Wilcox ... Noah Putnam
Francis De Sales ... American Embassy Representative
Harriet E. MacGibbon ... Lily Putnam (as Harriet MacGibbon)
Yuki Shimoda ... Mr. Asano's Secretary
Alan Mowbray ... Captain Norcross


Widowed Bertha Jacoby has led a relatively sheltered, monocultural existence in the same predominantly Jewish Brooklyn neighborhood for most of her adult life, and as such has fairly traditional Jewish values. She is taken aback not only when her son-in-law Jerry Black announces that he and Bertha's daughter Alice Black are moving to Tokyo on Jerry's next diplomatic corps assignment, but that they want her to move there with them so that she won't be all alone. Despite her anti-Japanese sentiments, David, her only son, having been killed in World War II in the Pacific Theater, Bertha reluctantly agrees. They will fly from New York City to San Francisco, and sail from there. Against the odds, Bertha befriends on board the ship Koichi Asano, a wealthy widowed Japanese businessman with whom Jerry and the American contingent will be entering into sensitive negotiations. Jerry and Alice are wary of Bertha and Mr. Asano's friendship, not only because of the cultural differences, but because... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Most honorable screen smash! See more »


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English | Japanese | Yiddish | German

Release Date:

3 September 1962 (Romania) See more »

Also Known As:

Mañana viviré See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie depicts the passage to Japan from San Francisco on the ship S.S. President Hoover. There was such an ocean liner with that name plying the Pacific routes, however it ran aground off Taiwan in December, 1937, and was so damaged, it was scrapped in place. At the time it was built in 1930, it was the largest commercial ship in the U.S. See more »


In a Movie with Transcontinental Jets when Mrs Jacoby returns to her Brooklyn apartment they show a street scene in front with a car passing but then behind the car there is a Horse drawn wagon. Horse drawn wagons in 1960s Brooklyn? I don't think so. See more »


Koichi Asano: The hardest word in the English language is "rorripop"
Koichi Asano: .
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Referenced in Chico and the Man: A Minority of One (1977) See more »


Music by Al Jolson
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva
Sung by Mae Questel as she's walking up the stairs
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

What a wonderful film!
29 June 2012 | by scooterberwynSee all my reviews

For the first time I have seen the film A MAJORITY OF ONE. I also have been reading some of the reviews here on IMDb. So many of them harp on the fact that Alec Guinness was cast as the Japanese businessman who falls in love with Rosalind Russell's lonely Jewish widow. For that matter, some take exception to the casting of the Catholic Miss Russell as Mrs. Jacoby.

It's called acting, people! Mr. Guinness and Miss Russell certainly convinced me that they were these people - an elderly lonely Jewish widow and an equally elderly lonely Japanese widower who meet and, although from very different cultures, find a common ground.

This was a beautifully performed and profoundly moving story. I don't know how I've managed to never see it before. It left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I will certainly be adding this film to my collection.

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