IMDb > Branded to Kill (1967)
Koroshi no rakuin
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Branded to Kill (1967) More at IMDbPro »Koroshi no rakuin (original title)

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Branded to Kill -- Branded to Kill is Seijun Suzuki at his delirious best. From a cookie-cutter studio script, Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece—and was promptly fired.

Overview

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7.4/10   4,340 votes »
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View company contact information for Branded to Kill on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 June 1967 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(38 articles)
Blu-ray Review: 'Youth of the Beast'
 (From CineVue. 27 October 2014, 4:25 PM, PDT)

The Bottom Shelf: Remo, Almost Human, Branded To Kill and more
 (From Den of Geek. 9 September 2014, 12:56 AM, PDT)

‘Branded to Kill’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)
 (From Blogomatic3000. 20 August 2014, 4:37 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Suzuki dispenses with narrative convention in this acid-jazz noir-ish nightmare See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Jô Shishido ... 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 Sudo (as Takashi Nomura)
Tokuhei Miyahara
Hiroshi Midorikawa
Akira Hisamatsu (as Kôsuke Hisamatsu)
Iwae Arai
Yu Izumi
Kyôji Mizuki
Takashi Seyama
Masaaki Honme
Mitsuru Sawa
Shirô Tonami
Akira Takahashi
Shinzô Shibata
Tessen Nakahira
Wataru Kobayashi
Yoshigi Ôba
Ken Mizoguchi
Michiko Hagi
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Franz Gruber ... Western man (uncredited)

Directed by
Seijun Suzuki 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hachiro Guryu 
Mitsutoshi Ishigami  screenplay (uncredited)
Takeo Kimura  uncredited
Chûsei Sone  uncredited
Atsushi Yamatoya  uncredited

Produced by
Kaneo Iwai .... producer
Takiko Mizunoe .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Naozumi Yamamoto 
 
Cinematography by
Kazue Nagatsuka 
 
Film Editing by
Akira Suzuki 
 
Art Direction by
Motozô Kawahara 
 
Production Management
Akira Yamashita .... executive in charge of production
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masami Kuzû .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Yoshinobu Akino .... sound
 
Stunts
Kakuo Watai .... fight choreographer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Saburô Mio .... gaffer (as S. Mio)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Koroshi no rakuin" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
91 min | Argentina:99 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Company:

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 »
Movie Connections:
References "The Prisoner" (1967)See more »

FAQ

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Suzuki dispenses with narrative convention in this acid-jazz noir-ish nightmare, 26 May 2008
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

Much has been made of how weird and off-beat Branded to Kill is. However it is important to consider it as part of Suzuki's progression through film-making. Before you can break the rules, you have to master them. Suzuki did so in several of his earlier pictures, from Underworld Beauty to Tattooed Life. And every time he was called to deliver a run of the mill yakuza flick, he infused it with his personal style. More and more he fractured the visual language of cinema every time, until he got rid of it or transformed it into a psychotic beast for Branded to Kill, revealing what lies beneath.

A plot synopsis would read something like this: Jo Shishido is killer Number #3 with ambitions of becoming Number #1. Who is Number #1? Does he even exist? That is until he's called to transport a client safely. The borders between realism and surrealism blur hopelessly at that point and what follows is a nightmarish concoction of beautiful set-pieces that lead up to his final confrontation with Number #1.

Saying that Branded to Kill is weird is an understatement. In turns fascinating, confusing, nonsensical, surrealist, psychotic, thrilling, poetic, nightmarish, confusing, tiring, mind-numbing and exhilarating, it defies description as much as it defies sense. The boundaries of time, space and logic are blurred and all you can do is experience the ride. It doesn't try to make much sense and apparently Suzuki made it up as he went along. The result was to be fired by Nikkatsu Studios for delivering a picture that "made no sense". I don't blame them really. Studios are businesses and Branded to Kill is not a movie with massive appeal. Ahead of its time in that aspect.

Filmed in beautiful black and white, with a languid jazzy score and a film-noir ambiance, Branded to Kill will certainly appeal to people with strange tastes. Don't go in expecting a yakuza action flick (although there are several gunfights and enough action to go along) or you'll be sorely disappointed. As an indication of the uncharted territories Branded to Kill's treads, I'll guesstimate that fans of Eraserhead-era Lynch, Koji Wakamatsu and Singapore Sling's style will appreciate it. I can't say "like it", because ultimately that's between the viewer and Branded to Kill to sort. Either way, it has to be experienced at least once. Just sit back and let the surreal absurdity of it all wash over you...

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