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Branded to Kill (1967)

Koroshi no rakuin (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 15 June 1967 (Japan)
A hit-man, with a fetish for sniffing boiling rice, fumbles his latest job, putting him into conflict with his treacherous wife, with a mysterious woman eager for death and with the phantom-like hit-man known only as Number One.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gorô Hanada
Kôji Nanbara ...
No. 1
Isao Tamagawa ...
Michihiko Yabuhara
Anne Mari ...
Misako Nakajô
Mariko Ogawa ...
Mami Hanada
Hiroshi Minami ...
Gihei Kasuga
Hiroshi Chô
Atsushi Yamatoya
Takashi Nomura
Tokuhei Miyahara
Hiroshi Midorikawa
Akira Hisamatsu ...
(as Kôsuke Hisamatsu)
Iwae Arai
Yû Izumi
Kyôji Mizuki
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Storyline

The number-three-ranked hit-man, with a fetish for sniffing boiling rice, fumbles his latest job, which puts him into conflict with a mysterious woman whose death wish inspires her to surround herself with dead butterflies and dead birds. Worse danger comes from his own treacherous wife and finally with the number-one-ranked hit-man, known only as a phantom to those who fear his unseen presence. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 June 1967 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Branded to Kill  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Nikkatsu studio executives saw the finished product, they thought it was too terrible to be released, so they shelved it. Director Seijun Suzuki along with others in the film business, film critics, and students protested in unfairness since by contract Nikkatsu was supposed to release the finished film theatrically. It went to court, with a ruling in favor of the director. Nikkatsu had to pay for damages and have the film released. Suzuki's contract with Nikkatsu was terminated, and with the bad reputation, was unable to work on a feature film for the next 10 years. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Oldeuboi (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Gonzo crime-thriller astonishingly directed by Seijun Suzuki
3 August 1999 | by (Fargo, North Dakota) – See all my reviews

A bizarre yakuza flick with a taste for over-the-top visuals and modern stylistics, Branded to Kill follows the strange day-to-day existence of an expert hit-man who carries out his orders with steely determination and impassive cool. All hell breaks loose, however, when a butterfly alighting on his rifle scope results in a botched job -- and a death sentence for the screw-up. Joe Shishido, with his collagen-enhanced cheekbones, makes a terrific anti-hero whose unusual quirks (Suzuki reasoned that a man obsessed with the scent of warm rice would signal to audiences that this guy was quintessentially Japanese) instantly endear him to newly-made fans. Branded to Kill is wild fun, and has been favorably and frequently compared to the work of artists as different as John Woo and David Lynch -- which makes it all the more exhilarating when you realize it was made in 1967.


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