Tomotaka Tasaka’s A Pebble by the Wayside (Robo no Ishi), made in 1938 and taken from a Yuzo Yamamoto novel, takes place around 1902, was about a young boy brought up entirely by his mother since his drunken father is never home. An intelligent teacher wants to send him to middle school, but instead the father apprentices him to a clothing store to which he is in debt.
Though the film itself was perhaps overly emotional and at times seems too much like a Japanese Oliver Twist, Tasaka himself thinks it was the best picture he ever made. Certainly in the boy, Akihiko Katayama, the son of Koji Shima, then a star and now a director, Tasaka had all a director could have asked for in a child actor.
1.38GB | 1h 59m | 720×480 | mkv