IMDb > House of Bamboo (1955)
House of Bamboo
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House of Bamboo (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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House of Bamboo -- Trailer for this epic drama filmed in Japan


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6.9/10   1,797 votes »
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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Harry Kleiner (written by)
Samuel Fuller (additional dialogue)
View company contact information for House of Bamboo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 July 1955 (USA) See more »
Planted in a Tokyo crime syndicate, a U.S. Army Investigator attempts to probe the coinciding death of a fellow Army official. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A Widescreen Color Noir? See more (41 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Ryan ... Sandy Dawson

Robert Stack ... Eddie Kenner
Shirley Yamaguchi ... Mariko

Cameron Mitchell ... Griff

Brad Dexter ... Captain Hanson

Sessue Hayakawa ... Inspector Kito

Biff Elliot ... Webber
Sandro Giglio ... Ceram
Elko Hanabusa ... Japanese Screaming Woman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clifford Arashiro ... Policeman (uncredited)
Sandy Azeka ... Charlie's Girl at Party (uncredited)

Harry Carey Jr. ... John (uncredited)
Barry Coe ... Captain Hanson's Aide (uncredited)
Fred Dale ... Man (uncredited)

John Doucette ... Skipper (uncredited)
Fuji ... Pachinko Manager (uncredited)
Samuel Fuller ... Japanese policeman (uncredited)
Peter Gray ... Willy (uncredited)
Reiko Hayakawa ... Mariko's Girl Friend (uncredited)
Robert Hosai ... Doctor (uncredited)
Kazue Ikeda ... Policeman (uncredited)
Kinuko Ann Ito ... Servant (uncredited)
Frank Jumagai ... Pachinko Manager (uncredited)

DeForest Kelley ... Charlie (uncredited)
Robert Kino ... Policeman (uncredited)
Frank Kwanaga ... File Clerk (uncredited)
Richard Loo ... Inspector Kito's Voice (voice) (uncredited)
Jack Maeshiro ... Bartender (uncredited)
Harris Matsushige ... Office Clerk (uncredited)
Joanna Mitchell ... Mother Superior (uncredited)
Rollin Moriyama ... Pearl Man (uncredited)
Neyle Morrow ... Cpl. Davis (uncredited)
Bob Okazaki ... Mr Hommaru (uncredited)

Robert Quarry ... Phil (uncredited)
Bob Roberts ... Soldier on wall (left) (uncredited)
Reiko Sato ... Charlie's Girl (uncredited)
Teru Shimada ... Nagaya (uncredited)
May Takasugi ... Bath Attendant (uncredited)
Barbara Uchiyamada ... Japanese Girl (uncredited)
Everett Weaver ... Soldier on wall (right) (uncredited)

Directed by
Samuel Fuller 
Writing credits
Harry Kleiner (written by)

Samuel Fuller (additional dialogue)

Produced by
Buddy Adler .... producer
Original Music by
Leigh Harline 
Cinematography by
Joseph MacDonald  (as Joe MacDonald)
Film Editing by
James B. Clark 
Art Direction by
Addison Hehr 
Lyle R. Wheeler 
Set Decoration by
Stuart A. Reiss 
Walter M. Scott 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Helen Turpin .... hair stylist
Production Management
Saul Wurtzel .... unit production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Silver .... assistant director
Art Department
Don B. Greenwood .... property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Harry M. Leonard .... sound
John D. Stack .... sound
Special Effects by
Fred Etcheverry .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special photographic effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Cory .... key grip (uncredited)
Hugh Crawford .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Les Everson .... head electrician (uncredited)
Frank V. Phillips .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Dick James .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Leonard Doss .... color consultant
Music Department
Lionel Newman .... conductor
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator
Ken Darby .... vocal supervisor (uncredited)
Other crew
Teresa Brachetto .... script supervisor (uncredited)
John Campbell .... publicity director (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Intrada  score album released by (Special Collection)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A | UK:PG (DVD) | USA:Approved (certificate #17450) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Sessue Hayakawa's dialogue was overdubbed by the US-born actor Richard Loo.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Eddie Spanier (Robert Stack) is first knocked unconscious by members of Sandy Dawson's gang, Dawson tells one of his underlings to awaken him by tossing a bucket of ice on him. As he lies on the floor, however, Eddie flinches as soon as Dawson gives this command, before any ice actually hits Eddie's face.See more »
Sandy Dawson:Who are you working for?
Eddie Kenner:[posing as Eddie Spanier] Spanier.
Sandy Dawson:Who's Spanier?
Eddie Kenner:Me.
Sandy Dawson:Who else you working for?
Eddie Kenner:Eddie.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Serenade in BlueSee more »


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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
A Widescreen Color Noir?, 17 June 2006
Author: gravity3 from California

I vacillate on whether the 20th Century Fox studio claim that HOUSE OF BAMBOO is film noir is really accurate or not. For one thing, it's in color. For another, it's shot in Cinemascope. Also given it's made in 1955, I have to think of it more like a new gas/electric car: it's a hybrid. But unlike most compact hybrids out these days, this one's a full-size truck.

There are action sequences that feel more like they belong in Frankenheimer's THE TRAIN or Sturges' THE GREAT ESCAPE than in a so called noir picture, but I'm not knocking them. They're well staged, and like the entire film, terrifically photographed. But then there is the use of silhouette and high contrast more akin to noir, and the story too feels more in that vein, although more on the sparse side; certainly not a Raymond Chandler THE BIG SLEEP kind of story! Honestly, I found it no less thin a story than Fritz Lang's THE BIG HEAT. As critical as the story is, if films were only that, I'd just be reading books. What's done visually plays a pretty big part in this format.

Speaking of the cinematography, some critics have stated the widescreen use is overkill here, but I must beg to differ. With so many modern films shot more and more like television, with only close-ups and two-shots, and barely a moment of establishing frame to see where everything is happening - and with action sequences and dance numbers shooting this way now - it was refreshing for me to see the entire frame used, with characters often at either end, and action allowed to play out wide, without fast moving camera-work to pump it up. Of course the problem is that many will view a DVD of the film now, where wide shots just look far away (unless you've got a large home theater screen). But that's not the fault of the filmmakers - Cinemascope was meant for the big screen.

When the camera does move, it's clever work. The blocking is also terrific and surprisingly fresh (or again perhaps just not used anymore and so fresh all over again to my eyes). Some say it's all too tricky, but it's far less tricky than all of the motion-control work we're used to seeing now, and often (in this film at least) more involving. Director Samuel Fuller is doing the right shots at the right time here, and that takes everything on screen up a notch.

I'm not sure why there's criticism over the location, but I found the setting in post-war Japan to be as crucial to HOUSE OF BAMBOO as post-war Vienna was to THE THIRD MAN, or for that matter Monument Valley to a John Ford western. Sometimes the setting becomes one of the characters, which when done right as it is here, can only be a plus for the picture. Fuller puts it all to good use. Perhaps it's the Hollywood techniques brought into play, but I can't think of another picture, including all of Kurosawa's work, that looks exactly like this. I'm not saying it's better, just a different take on the locations, and so enjoyable as such.

I'll make the argument that Kurosawa, for example, would film a Japan he knew, but overlooked images because he was used to them, just like I wouldn't take a picture of the Golden Gate bridge because I live 45 minutes away from it. But Fuller looks at it more like a tourist if you will, and so commits to film here things that are unique or uniquely shot. You have enough of these memorable images and you start to have a memorable film. If this were another kind of film, I might not think all those fascinating shots were of such importance. But if this is trying to be noir, then it's all about the atmosphere that the landscape and settings convey. Noir or not, it truly got me caught up in the story.

I have to admit being swayed by a great score from Leigh Harline (as conducted by none other than Lionel Newman), but that's what a good score should help to do: make a decent film good and a good film great. But I also must admit that if I just look at the pieces of this film, I would never rate it so highly. It's a case, for me at least, of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, of everything working together just right to make a solid piece of entertainment, noir or otherwise.

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