Yakuza

by Mighty_Emperor | created - 07 Aug 2012 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

Yakuza films.

They have gone through a number of stages:

* Beginning - although most of the pre-WWII films are missing, some like Chuji Tabinikki Daisanbu Goyohen, are still being found.

* Ninkyo eiga - chivalry films in the 1960s, with Seijun Suzuki being one of the more prominent directors, until he got sacked for getting too experimental, and Ken Takakura being a well-known face in front of the camera.

* Jitsuroku eiga - docudrama films in the 1970s, as typified by Kinji Fukasaku films, like Battles Without Honor and Humanity, usually set in the post-War period.

* Resurgence - yakuza films went off the radar in the 1980s and returned in the mid-90s thanks to prolific directors like Takeshi Kitano and Takashi Miike, the latter pushing the films into increasingly strange areas (while still delivering more conventional takes on the genre).

Further reading: Mark Schilling (2003). The Yakuza Movie Book : A Guide to Japanese Gangster Film.

See also: Jidaigeki for period Japanese films (with which there is some crossover with this list).

Comments: As I don't have a Facebook account I cannot interact with the new comments system, so have switched it off. I will start a thread on the message board and link it in here shortly.

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1. Ryû ga gotoku: Gekijô-ban (2007)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Cult Japanese director Takashi Miike draws inspiration from the popular Playstation 2 title Yakuza for this unhinged tale of underworld violence in Tokyo starring Goro Kishitani and Kazuki ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Kazuki Kitamura, Gorô Kishitani, Shun Shioya, Saeko

Votes: 1,153

Here to provide the list with a thumbnail graphic, the list begins below:

2. Chuji Tabinikki Daisanbu Goyohen (1927)

107 min

7.3
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Director: Daisuke Itô | Stars: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Hideo Nakamura, Kichiji Nakamura, Seinosuke Sakamoto

Votes: 62

3. Chuji tabi nikki: Shinshu kessho hen (1927)

7.5
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Director: Daisuke Itô | Stars: Denjirô Ôkôchi, Enichiro Mikawa, Hideo Nakamura, Haruo Okazaki

Votes: 22

4. Chuji tabi nikki: Koshu tate hen (1927)

7.6
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Director: Daisuke Itô | Stars: Tamamatsurô Arashi, Ichimaru Ichikawa, Kogame Kataoka, Chiyoko Kinoshita

Votes: 16

5. Drunken Angel (1948)

Unrated | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.8
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A drunken doctor with a hot temper and a violence-prone gangster with tuberculosis form a quicksilver bond.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Reizaburô Yamamoto, Michiyo Kogure

Votes: 7,644

6. Jirochô sangokushi: nagurikomi kôjinyama (1952)

82 min | Action, Drama

7.0
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Setsuko Wakayama, Jun Tazaki, Seizaburô Kawazu

Votes: 11

Based on Genzo Murakami's novel series about Shimizu no Jirocho, which spawned dozens of films.

7. Jirochô sangokushi: Jirochô hatsutabi (1953)

83 min | Action, Drama

6.0
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Setsuko Wakayama, Seizaburô Kawazu, Jun Tazaki

Votes: 10

aka Jirocho Sangokushi 2: First Journey

8. Jirochô sangokushi: Jirochô to Ishimatsu (1953)

87 min | Action, Drama

3.8
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Hisaya Morishige, Setsuko Wakayama, Asami Kuji

Votes: 18

aka Jirocho Sangokushi 3: Jirocho and Ishimatsu

9. Jirochô sangokushi: seizoroi Shimizu Minato (1953)

80 min | Action, Drama

7.0
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Hisaya Morishige, Seizaburô Kawazu, Jun Tazaki

Votes: 12

aka Jirocho Sangokushi 4: All Gathered at Shimizu Harbor

10. Jirochô sangokushi: nagurikomi kôshûji (1953)

78 min | Action, Drama

6.8
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Hisaya Morishige, Seizaburô Kawazu, Asami Kuji

Votes: 12

aka Jirocho Sangokushi 5: Violence on the Koshu Road

11. Jirochô sangokushi: tabi garasu jirochô ikka (1953)

104 min | Action, Drama

8.5
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Hisaya Morishige, Asami Kuji, Setsuko Wakayama

Votes: 12

aka Jirocho Sangokushi 6: Jirocho's Family of Wanderers

12. Jirochô sangokushi: hatsu iwai Shimizu Minato (1953)

87 min | Action, Drama

7.4
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Hisaya Morishige, Asami Kuji, Seizaburô Kawazu

Votes: 5

aka Jirocho Sangokushi 7: First Celebration at Shimizu Harbor

13. Jirochô sangokushi: kaitô-ichi no abarenbô (1954)

103 min | Action, Drama

7.8
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Hisaya Morishige, Kyôko Aoyama, Michitarô Mizushima

Votes: 13

aka Jirocho Sangokushi 8: Last of the Wild Ones

14. Jirochô sangokushi: Kôjinyama zenzen (1954)

82 min | Action, Drama

6.8
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Akio Kobori, Seizaburô Kawazu, Jun Tazaki, Mariko Okada

Votes: 9

aka Jirocho Sangokushi 9: The Holy Mountain

15. Ore wa matteru ze (1957)

91 min | Crime, Drama

7.1
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A former boxer gets involved with a club hostess trying to escape the clutches of her gangster employer.

Director: Koreyoshi Kurahara | Stars: Yûjirô Ishihara, Mie Kitahara, Isamu Kosugi, Kenjirô Uemura

Votes: 546

16. Underworld Beauty (1958)

87 min | Crime, Drama

7.1
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Released from prison, a gangster (Michitaro Mizushima) retrieves diamonds sought by fellow yakuza.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Michitarô Mizushima, Mari Shiraki, Shinsuke Ashida, Tôru Abe

Votes: 373

17. Afraid to Die (1960)

96 min | Crime, Drama

6.7
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Takeo is a young yakuza who renounces his former criminal activities after being released from prison. But sometimes escaping the past is not so easy.

Director: Yasuzô Masumura | Stars: Yukio Mishima, Ayako Wakao, Keizô Kawasaki, Eiji Funakoshi

Votes: 379

aka Afraid to Die

18. Yojimbo (1961)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

8.3
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A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Eijirô Tôno, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôko Tsukasa

Votes: 83,498

19. Wakasama yakuza (1961)

90 min

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Director: Toshikazu Kôno | Stars: Chiyonosuke Azuma, Hashizô Ôkawa

20. Akumyô (1961)

94 min

7.4
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Director: Tokuzô Tanaka | Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Jirô Tamiya, Tamao Nakamura, Yasuko Nakada

Votes: 22

21. The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)

Not Rated | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.7
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The adventures of a blind, gambling masseur who also happens to be a master swordsman.

Director: Kenji Misumi | Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Masayo Banri, Ryûzô Shimada, Hajime Mitamura

Votes: 3,781

22. Teenage Yakuza (1962)

Not Rated | 72 min | Action, Crime

5.5
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A high school vigilante protects his community from the extortions of mobsters from a neighboring city.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Tamio Kawaji, Noriko Matsumoto, Keiko Sugiyama, Kayo Matsuo

Votes: 14

aka Teen Yakuza

23. Youth of the Beast (1963)

Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Crime, Mystery

7.6
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A violent thug plays opposing yakuza bosses against each other.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Misako Watanabe, Tamio Kawaji, Minako Katsuki

Votes: 2,384

24. Kantô mushuku (1963)

92 min | Crime, Drama

7.1
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Three schoolgirls are infatuated with a yakuza, Katsuta, of the Izu Clan. They meet another yakuza, `Diamond` Fuyu, of the rival Yoshida clan. As he gets a tattoo, two of the girls become ... See full summary »

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Akira Kobayashi, Chieko Matsubara, Daisaburô Hirata, Hiroko Itô

Votes: 313

aka Kanto Wanderer

25. Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards (1963)

Not Rated | 89 min | Action, Crime

6.9
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Police detective Tajima, tasked with tracking down stolen firearms, turns an underworld grudge into a blood-bath. Suzuki transforms a colorful pot-boiler into an on-target send-up of cultural colonialism and post-war greed.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Tamio Kawaji, Reiko Sassamori, Nobuo Kaneko

Votes: 383

aka Detective Bureau 23: Go to Hell, Bastards!

26. The Flowers and the Angry Waves (1964)

92 min | Action, Crime

6.8
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Another subversion of audience expectations has Kobayashi acting somewhat cowardly in the snow-bound final showdown, an unheard-of trait in a ninkyô yakuza hero. Also with Tamio Kawaji as a sword-wielding assassin in Zero-cape-and -hat(!)

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Akira Kobayashi, Chieko Matsubara, Naoko Kubo, Tamio Kawaji

Votes: 186

aka The Flower and the Angry Waves

27. Kawaita hana (1964)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Thriller

7.8
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A gangster gets released from prison and has to cope with the recent shifts of power between the gangs, while taking care of a thrill-seeking young woman, who got in bad company while gambling.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda | Stars: Ryô Ikebe, Mariko Kaga, Takashi Fujiki, Naoki Sugiura

Votes: 2,076

28. Nikutai no mon (1964)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

7.6
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An injured thief on the run finds sanctuary within a brothel of united, ruthless women.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Kôji Wada, Yumiko Nogawa, Tomiko Ishii

Votes: 2,289

29. Kenjû zankoku monogatari (1964)

87 min | Action, Crime

7.3
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A convict fresh out of prison, with a handicapped sister, is coerced by a wealthy mob boss into organizing an armored racetrack car heist.

Director: Takumi Furukawa | Stars: Jô Shishido, Chieko Matsubara, Tamio Kawaji, Yuji Kodaka

Votes: 522

30. Oretachi no chi ga yurusanai (1964)

97 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.2
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Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Yuri Hase, Chikako Hosokawa, Shôbun Inoue, Akira Kobayashi

Votes: 38

aka Our Blood Will Not Forgive

31. Ôkami to buta to ningen (1964)

95 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.1
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A lonely gangster tries recruiting men to plunder a respected and powerful gang.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Ken Takakura, Rentarô Mikuni, Kin'ya Kitaôji, Shinjirô Ebara

Votes: 95

32. Tattooed Life (1965)

87 min | Crime, Drama

7.3
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After his own gang sets him up to kill a rival mobster, a hit man is forced to flee with his younger brother.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Hideki Takahashi, Masako Izumi, Akira Yamauchi, Yuji Kodaka

Votes: 746

aka Tattooed Life

33. Shôwa zankyô-den (1965)

90 min | Action, Crime

7.1
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After World War II, their town was a pile of rubble. Gennosuke, the second generation boss of the Kamizu Group was upholding yakuza chivalry by keeping black-market and illegal items out of... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Saeki | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Yoshiko Mita, Shinjirô Ebara

Votes: 102

aka Chivalrous Tales of the Shôwa Era

34. Abashiri Bangaichi (1965)

92 min | Crime, Drama

7.1
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Shinichi is a good guy serving three years and approaching the end of his time. He escapes handcuffed to dangerous Gunda, who instigated the escape. Thus tethered, they start out on a journey across the desolate snow country of Hokkaido.

Director: Teruo Ishii | Stars: Ken Takakura, Kôji Nanbara, Tetsurô Tanba, Tôru Abe

Votes: 138

aka Abashiri Prison

35. Matatabi san ning yakuza (1965)

120 min | Action, Drama

6.7
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This anthology tells three separate stories, all about yakuza (Japan's gangsters) in the feudal period. In the first, Sentaro, a roaming yakuza, seeks sanctuary with a gang which then asks ... See full summary »

Director: Tadashi Sawashima | Stars: Kinnosuke Nakamura, Tatsuya Nakadai, Hiroki Matsukata, Hiroko Sakuramachi

Votes: 16

aka Three Yakuza

36. Meiji kyokyakuden - sandaime shumei (1965)

90 min | Action, Crime

6.7
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A tale set in the late Meiji era - circa 1880s-1890 as opposed to the early Meiji which began in the 1860s.

Director: Tai Katô | Stars: Kôji Tsuruta, Junko Fuji, Tetsurô Tanba, Tôru Abe

Votes: 48

37. Akumyo nobori (1965)

81 min

6.7
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Director: Tokuzô Tanaka | Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Jirô Tamiya, Yaeko Mizutani, Chôchô Miyako

Votes: 6

38. Tokyo Drifter (1966)

Not Rated | 82 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.3
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After his gang disbands, a yakuza enforcer looks forward to life outside of organized crime but soon must become a drifter after his old rivals attempt to assassinate him.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Tamio Kawaji, Hideaki Nitani

Votes: 5,736

aka Tokyo Drifter

39. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman's Pilgrimage (1966)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama

7.3
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Zatoichi's trek through 88 temples to atone for his violent past is interrupted as he stumbles into a village terrorized by a violent yakuza boss.

Director: Kazuo Ikehiro | Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Michiyo Ohkusu, Kunie Tanaka, Hisashi Igawa

Votes: 611

40. Shôwa zankyô-den: Karajishi botan (1966)

89 min | Action, Crime

6.7
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Director: Kiyoshi Saeki | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Yoshiko Mita, Masahiko Tsugawa

Votes: 24

aka Brutal Tales of Chivalry 2: The Chinese Lion and Peony Tattoo

41. Showa zankyo-den: Ippiki okami (1966)

90 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.2
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Director: Kiyoshi Saeki | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Junko Fuji, Shôgo Shimada

Votes: 20

aka Brutal Tales of Chivalry 3: The Lone Wolf

42. Yakuza gurentai (1966)

89 min | Crime

7.8
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Director: Sadao Nakajima | Stars: Hiroki Matsukata, Shigeru Amachi, Kazuko Inano, Yuriko Mishima

Votes: 16

aka Yakuza Outpost

43. Branded to Kill (1967)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.4
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After a badly done assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organisation, and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman in particular.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari, Kôji Nanbara

Votes: 6,165

44. Kurenai no nagareboshi (1967)

97 min | Action

6.9
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A young yakuza hitman named Goro does a job and needs to hideout away from Tokyo for a while. He hangs out with loose women and hard men and always manages to stay one step ahead of the law... See full summary »

Director: Toshio Masuda | Stars: Tetsuya Watari, Ruriko Asaoka, Ryôtarô Sugi, Chiyo Okumura

Votes: 105

45. Koruto wa ore no pasupooto (1967)

84 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.6
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A hit man is hired to kill a mob boss. After the deed is done, he and his driver are wanted dead by rival gangs who joined forces.

Director: Takashi Nomura | Stars: Jô Shishido, Chitose Kobayashi, Jerry Fujio, Shôki Fukae

Votes: 1,129

46. Minagoroshi no kenjû (1967)

Not Rated | 89 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.1
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Kuroda (Jô Shishido) is a mob hitman who turns on his employers after being forced to execute his lover. Joining forces with his similarly wronged brothers, hot-headed Eiji (Tatsuya Fuji) ... See full summary »

Director: Yasuharu Hasebe | Stars: Jô Shishido, Hideaki Nitani, Yôko Yamamoto, Jirô Okazaki

Votes: 248

47. Shôwa zankyô-den: Chizome no karajishi (1967)

90 min | Action, Crime

7.0
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Fourth film in the "Shôwa Zankyôden" series. This expression means duty, obligations, and rules obeyed by gangsters and outlaws in the pre-Shôwa era.

Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Junko Fuji, Yoshi Katô

Votes: 23

aka Brutal Tales of Chivalry 4

49. Bakuchi-uchi: socho tobaku (1968)

95 min | Action

7.2
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Director: Kôsaku Yamashita | Stars: Junko Fuji, Nobuo Kaneko, Shin'ichirô Mikami, Hiroshi Nawa

Votes: 67

50. Shima wa moratta (1968)

Not Rated | 94 min | Action, Crime

6.9
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Jiro, an ex-convict, comes back to the street after eight years. The gang to which he belonged is nearly disbanded; only the aging boss in his sick bed remains. Still loyal to the ex-boss, ... See full summary »

Director: Yasuharu Hasebe | Stars: Akira Kobayashi, Jô Shishido, Hideaki Nitani, Tamio Kawaji

Votes: 152

51. Hibotan bakuto (1968)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

7.0
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Oryu (Fuji Junko) is invited to stay with a local yakuza boss of a silk farming town. When a rival gang murders the boss Oryu takes it upon herself to protect his business and family.

Director: Kôsaku Yamashita | Stars: Junko Fuji, Masako Araki, Junpei Arishima, Daisuke Awaji

Votes: 153

aka Lady Yakuza

52. Arakure (1969)

87 min | Drama

7.0
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Director: Yasuharu Hasebe | Stars: Tsuneo Aoki, Tatsuya Fuji, Rika Fujie, Keiko Hara

Votes: 26

53. Hibotan bakuto: hanafuda shôbu (1969)

98 min | Action

6.8
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Director: Tai Katô | Stars: Junko Fuji, Ken Takakura, Kanjûrô Arashi, Teruo Ishiyama

Votes: 142

aka Lady Yakuza: Flower Cards Match

54. Hibotan bakuto: nidaime shûmei (1969)

95 min | Drama

7.3
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The industrial revolution comes to Japan with the introduction of the railroad system. This led to clashes between boatmen, whose livelihoods are threatened, and the railway construction workers.

Director: Shigehiro Ozawa | Stars: Bin Amatsu, Kanjûrô Arashi, Masaharu Arikawa, Daisuke Awaji

Votes: 55

aka Lady Yakuza: Second Generation Ceremony

55. Hibotan bakuto: Tekkaba retsuden (1969)

110 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.1
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After collecting her sickly follower from jail, Oryu is taken in by a fishing village. Feeling indebed to their generosity, she stays to work for the village and promises to leave her ... See full summary »

Director: Kôsaku Yamashita | Stars: Bin Amatsu, Hiroshi Arikawa, Daisuke Awaji, Tatsuko Azuma

Votes: 47

aka Lady Yakuza: Biographies of a Gambling Room

56. Gendai yakuza: yotamono jingi (1969)

92 min | Action

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Director: Yasuo Furuhata | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Ryô Ikebe, Masakazu Tamura, Yaeko Mizutani

57. Japan Organized Crime Boss (1969)

97 min | Action, Crime

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Coming out of jail and hoping for a quiet life, Yokohama yakuza has to take the lead of his gang after the death of his boss. His small group is is taken in a crossfire between a big yakuza... See full summary »

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Kôji Tsuruta, Tomisaburô Wakayama, Bunta Sugawara, Noboru Andô

Votes: 145

58. Kôiki bôryoku: Ryuuketsu no shima (1969)

87 min | Action, Crime

6.6
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A once-powerful yakuza clan disbands as a result of a police crackdown but one small group refuses to bow to police pressure, and launches a campaign to take over Tokyo's drug, prostitution, and gambling rackets.

Director: Yasuharu Hasebe | Stars: Akira Kobayashi, Ryôji Hayama, Tadao Nakamaru, Hiroshi Nawa

Votes: 50

59. Shôwa zankyô-den: Karajishi jingi (1969)

90 min | Action, Crime

7.1
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Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Junko Fuji, Kyôsuke Machida

Votes: 27

aka Brutal Tales of Chivalry 5 or Chivalrous Tales of the Shôwa Era: The Duty of a Lion

60. Gangster Cop (1970)

R | 87 min | Action, Crime, Drama

5.7
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An undercover cop befriends a yakuza underling who through his contacts helps him infiltrate two rival Yakuza gangs. He pits the two rival gangs against each other in hopes that they will cross each other out.

Director: Yukio Noda | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Ryôji Hayama, Ryôhei Uchida, Rin'ichi Yamamoto

Votes: 224

aka Gangster Cop

Both this and the sequel are collected on Optimum's excellent Sonny Chiba Collection, Volume 1.

61. Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (1970)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Thriller

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A street girl gang clashes with racist local gangsters after one of the girls starts dating an Afro-Japanese man.

Director: Yasuharu Hasebe | Stars: Meiko Kaji, Rikiya Yasuoka, Tatsuya Fuji, Jirô Okazaki

Votes: 563

aka Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter

62. Shôwa zankyô-den: Shinde moraimasu (1970)

93 min | Action, Crime

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Young yakuza Shujiro Hanada (Takakura) goes to prison after losing his cool in a rigged gambling game and slashing a few other players. When he's released in 1927, the world has changed. ... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Ken Takakura, Ryô Ikebe, Junko Fuji, Michiko Araki

Votes: 23

aka Chivalrous Tales of the Shôwa Era: Hell Is Man's Destiny

63. The Assassin (1970)

87 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Hayata is an undercover cop assigned to infiltrate not one, but two rival Yakuza gangs. Things get complicated when Hayata gets into a relationship with a young schoolteacher, the daughter ... See full summary »

Director: Ryuichi Takamori | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Ryôhei Uchida, Fumio Watanabe, Toshiaki Minami

Votes: 46

aka Yakuza Deka: Secret Police or Gangster Cop: The Assassin

64. Gendai yakuza: Shinjuku no yotamono (1970)

88 min | Action

Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

After release from jail, Katsumata forms a rag-tag gang calling themselves the Shinjuku Brothers. His partner and co-leader is a sleazy gambling addict he met in a nightclub. Actually, they... See full summary »

Director: Shin Takakuwa | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Makoto Satô, Shinichi Ruki, Kenji Ushio

65. Yakuza zesshô (1970)

92 min | Action, Drama, Romance

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A yakuza member's half-sister means much more to him in a film that repeatedly depicts realities other than what normal societal rules allow. The overly protective and loving brother; ... See full summary »

Director: Yasuzô Masumura | Stars: Shintarô Katsu, Naoko Ôtani, Masakazu Tamura, Yûsuke Kawazu

Votes: 17

66. Hibotan bakuto: oryû sanjô (1970)

100 min | Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Oryu searches for a blind girl she left behind but gets involved in a Yakuza turf war.

Director: Tai Katô | Stars: Tôru Abe, Bin Amatsu, Kanjûrô Arashi, Mikiko Asamatsu

Votes: 74

aka Lady Yakuza: Oryu's Return

67. Bakuto gaijin butai (1971)

93 min | Crime, Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A yakuza gang gets driven out of Yokohama by a big gang from Tokyo. They relocate to Okinawa to violently start over.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Kôji Tsuruta, Tomisaburô Wakayama, Tsunehiko Watase, Akiko Kudô

Votes: 676

aka Sympathy for the Underdog

68. Shussho Iwai (1971)

131 min | Crime, Drama

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After going to prison for killing the boss of the Kanno gang, a gangster gets released early - only to find that his ex-gang has merged with the Kannos. But with bitter resentments lingering on both sides, bloodshed is bound to begin anew.

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Rumi Aiki, Hideyo Amamoto, Noboru Andô, Mitsuko Aoi

Votes: 361

69. Hibotan Bakuto: Oinochi Itadaki masu (1971)

93 min

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Oryu meets villagers whose crops and livelihoods are being damaged by air pollution from a local factory.

Director: Tai Katô | Stars: Junko Fuji, Kôji Tsuruta, Katsutoshi Akiyama, Kanjûrô Arashi

Votes: 47

aka Lady Yakuza: Here to Kill You

71. Gendai yakuza: chizakura san kyodai (1971)

92 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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Director: Sadao Nakajima | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Gorô Ibuki, Tsunehiko Watase, Ichirô Araki

72. Gendai yakuza: hito-kiri yota (1972)

95 min | Action, Crime

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A yakuza, who has an untamed rage and lack of respect for authority, finds himself leading the remnants of the gang he once belonged to in order to secure an area of their own.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Noboru Andô, Mayumi Nagisa, Asao Koike

Votes: 668

aka Street Mobster

One of the quintessential and influential early Jitsuroku eiga (and the best in this five-movie series, as well as the last), I don't think anyone could argue that the main protagonist is an anti-hero - he is clearly a broken little boy who grows up to be a little league sociopath, who doesn't redeem all his petty and major unpleasantness.

It'd lead to the director (Kinji Fukasaku) and lead actor (Bunta Sugawara) returning a year later for the start of the big era-defining film series: Battles Without Honor & Humanity.

73. Ginchô wataridori (1972)

95 min | Action, Drama

6.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Nami is an ex-convict who becomes a hostess to support a sick woman who bailed her out. In doing so, she gets involved in a local gangster's scheme to take over the bar she works for.

Director: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi | Stars: Meiko Kaji, Tatsuo Umemiya, Tsunehiko Watase, Akiko Koyama

Votes: 209

aka Wandering Ginza Butterfly

74. Gincho nagaremono mesuneko bakuchi (1972)

86 min | Action, Crime

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Nami(played by Meiko Kaji) returns to Tokyo to find the man who killed her father 13 years ago. On the way she saves a young woman named Hanae who's father had sold her for prostitution. ... See full summary »

Director: Kazuhiko Yamaguchi | Stars: Meiko Kaji, Shin'ichi Chiba, Shingo Yamashiro, Fujio Suga

Votes: 121

75. Hibotan bakuto: Jingi tooshimasu (1972)

96 min | Crime

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Oryu the Red Peony visits an old dying Boss of an ally family and promises she would help guide the new Boss. Meanwhile a turf war breaks out. When the family is betrayed from within and ... See full summary »

Director: Buichi Saitô | Stars: Daisuke Awaji, Junko Fuji, Akira Hirasawa, Masao Hori

Votes: 34

aka Lady Yakuza: Execution of Duty

76. Hito-kiri Yota: Kyoken San-kyodai (1972)

86 min | Action, Crime

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The great Bunta stars as a gangster who is sent to jail for the sake of his gang, but when he's released he finds everything completely changed and his gang has swept him aside for being too violent.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Kunie Tanaka, Mayumi Nagisa, Yôko Mihara

Votes: 107

77. Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During the violent chaos of post-War Japanese black market, a young gangster called Shozo Hirono has to keep up with the rapid shifts of power between unscrupulous bosses.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Kunie Tanaka, Eiko Nakamura

Votes: 2,536

aka Battles Without Honor & Humanity

78. Furyô anego den: Inoshika Ochô (1973)

R | 88 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the Meiji era, a gambler called Ocho takes revenge on three gangsters who killed her father, shelters a wanted anarchist and confronts a British spy.

Director: Noribumi Suzuki | Stars: Reiko Ike, Akemi Negishi, Ryôko Ema, Yôko Hori

Votes: 2,675

aka Sex & Fury

One of Toei's Pinky Violence films, mucky exploitation films but this movie and its sequel are more than that, as the include some quite memorable scenes and eventually come across as similar to Lady Snowblood but with nudity.

79. Yasagure anego den: sôkatsu rinchi (1973)

86 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Ocho gets abducted by a yakuza clan that uses a gang of women to smuggle drugs in their vaginas. Finding out that the kingpin had killed the last boss and abducted his daughter, Ocho joins forces with the drug mules against the clan.

Director: Teruo Ishii | Stars: Reiko Ike, Makoto Aikawa, Arumi Kuri, Meika Seri

Votes: 681

aka Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture

80. Hiroshima Death Match (1973)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young criminal joins a yakuza family to kill the gangsters who beat him up, but falls in love with his boss' widow niece, piling up enemies and corpses along his wayward way.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Shin'ichi Chiba, Meiko Kaji, Shingo Yamashiro

Votes: 968

Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Hiroshima Deathmatch

81. Proxy War (1973)

Not Rated | 119 min | Action, Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Yakuza boss Shozo Hirono must choose his alliances carefully as the local gangster family affiliations prove themselves to be wildly unstable, causing gang conflicts to slowly escalate.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Akira Kobayashi, Tsunehiko Watase, Shingo Yamashiro

Votes: 809

aka Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Proxy War

82. Yakuza tai G-men (1973)

93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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Director: Eiichi Kudô | Stars: Tatsuo Umemiya, Hiroki Matsukata, Bunta Sugawara, Nobuo Kaneko

83. Bodigaado Kiba (1973)

87 min | Crime

5.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

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Director: Tatsuichi Takamori | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Mari Atsumi, Yayoi Watanabe, Ryôhei Uchida

Votes: 24

84. The Yakuza (1974)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry Kilmer returns to Japan after several years in order to rescue his friend George's kidnapped daughter - and ends up on the wrong side of the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese mafia...

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith, Herb Edelman

Votes: 5,867

A powerful film with one of Robert Mitchum's best performances alongside Ken Takakura.

85. Police Tactics (1974)

Not Rated | 101 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Conflicts between Hirono's family and Yamamori's family (and their allies) are made more tense by the ambitious underlings and the police's efforts to impose a crackdown on the gangs.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Akira Kobayashi, Tatsuo Umemiya, Toshio Kurosawa

Votes: 680

aka Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Police Tactics

86. Final Episode (1974)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

While Hirono is in prison, his rival Takeda turns his own crime organization into a political party, whose two executives stir up new tensions in their thirst for power.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Hiroko Fuji, Seizô Fukumoto, Gorô Ibuki, Nobuo Kaneko

Votes: 624

aka Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Final Episode

87. Shin jingi naki tatakai (1974)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bunta Sugawara is Miyoshi, a low-level assassin of the Yamamori gang who is sent to jail after a bungled hit. While in stir, family member Aoki attempts to seize power from the boss, and ... See full summary »

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Hiroki Matsukata, Nobuo Kaneko, Tomisaburô Wakayama

Votes: 147

88. Bôryoku gai (1974)

96 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A retired yakuza is caught in the middle of a growing conflict between two rival clans.

Director: Hideo Gosha | Stars: Noboru Andô, Akira Kobayashi, Isao Natsuyagi, Bunta Sugawara

Votes: 171

89. Jingi no hakaba (1975)

94 min | Action, Crime

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A self-destructive man becomes a powerful member of the Japanese mafia but quickly loses his self control. Based on the true story of Rikio Ishikawa.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Tetsuya Watari, Tatsuo Umemiya, Yumi Takigawa, Eiji Gô

Votes: 1,136

aka Graveyard of Honor

90. Cops vs Thugs (1975)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Crime

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Acting boss Hirotani of the Ohara gang uses his friendship with corrupt cop Kuno to usurp a staged land deal that rival yakuza gang Kawade had arranged through local politicians. Open warfare erupts between the two gangs.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Tatsuo Umemiya, Hiroki Matsukata, Mikio Narita

Votes: 432

91. The Killer Elite (1975)

PG | 122 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Mike Locke, who works for a private security firm affiliated with the C.I.A., is betrayed by his partner and left apparently crippled for life.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: James Caan, Robert Duvall, Arthur Hill, Bo Hopkins

Votes: 4,527

92. Head of the Boss (1975)

Not Rated | 94 min | Action, Drama, Comedy

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Sugawara is Kuroda, an itinerant gambler who steps in when a hit by drug-addicted assassin Kusunoki goes wrong, and takes the fall on behalf of the Owada family, but when the gang fails to ... See full summary »

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Tsunehiko Watase, Yuriko Hishimi, Tsutomu Yamazaki

Votes: 116

93. Bodo shimane keimusho (1975)

95 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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Director: Sadao Nakajima | Stars: Hiroki Matsukata, Kin'ya Kitaôji, Gorô Ibuki, Tamio Kawaji

Votes: 12

aka Riot Shimane Prison

94. Yakuza no hakaba: Kuchinashi no hana (1976)

97 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a cop is transferred to a new precinct it is obvious that the area's yakuza mob are not dealing with just another policeman. The cop is bent on results and is not immune to becoming ... See full summary »

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Tetsuya Watari, Meiko Kaji, Tatsuo Umemiya, Hideo Murota

Votes: 563

95. Okinawa Yakuza sensô (1976)

96 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Set in Okinawa 1971, one year before the return of power to the mainland, this film highlights the bloody battle of Okinawa Yakuza gangsters versus mainland system.

Director: Sadao Nakajima | Stars: Hiroki Matsukata, Shin'ichi Chiba, Mikio Narita, Tatsuo Umemiya

Votes: 23

aka Okinawa Yakuza War

96. Last Days of the Boss (1976)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sugawara plays Nozaki, a laborer who swears allegiance to a sympathetic crime boss, only to find himself elected his successor after the boss is murdered. Restrained by a gang alliance that... See full summary »

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Isao Bitô, Takeo Chii, Takashi Ebata

Votes: 89

97. Yamaguchi-gumi gaiden: Kyushu shinko-sakusen (1977)

R | 87 min | Crime, Action, Drama

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

One of the only pre-1980s yakuza films to be dubbed-into-English.

Director: Kôsaku Yamashita | Stars: Bunta Sugawara, Tsunehiko Watase, Mayumi Nagisa, Tatsuo Umemiya

Votes: 41

aka The Tattooed Hitman

98. Doberman Cop (1977)

Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Crime

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A tough-as-nails cop from Okinawa investigates a savage murder in Tokyo's nightlife district. Originally dismissed as a bumpkin, he soon proves more savvy than the local police.

Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Shin'ichi Chiba, Janet Hatta, Eiko Matsuda, Masaru Shiga

Votes: 181

aka Doberman Cop

Manga adaptation again starring Chiba.

99. Yakuza senso: Nihon no Don (1977)

132 min | Crime, Drama

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A supposedly true-to-life story of one of the biggest rightists - yakuza bosses in 1950s - '60s Japan.

Director: Sadao Nakajima | Stars: Shin Saburi, Kôji Tsuruta, Hiroki Matsukata, Kô Nishimura

Votes: 10

aka Yakuza War: The Japanese Don

100. Hokuriku dairi sensô (1977)

98 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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Director: Kinji Fukasaku | Stars: Hiroki Matsukata, Yumiko Nogawa, Shin'ichi Chiba, Mikio Narita

Votes: 95