6.8/10
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53 user 45 critic

House of Bamboo (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 August 1955 (Japan)
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2:19 | Trailer
Planted in a Tokyo crime syndicate, a U.S. Army Investigator attempts to probe the coinciding death of a fellow Army official.

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writers:

Harry Kleiner, Samuel Fuller (additional dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Ryan ... Sandy Dawson
Robert Stack ... Eddie Kenner
Shirley Yamaguchi ... Mariko Webber
Cameron Mitchell ... Griff
Brad Dexter ... Captain Hanson
Sessue Hayakawa ... Inspector Kito
Biff Elliot ... Webber
Sandro Giglio Sandro Giglio ... Ceram
Elko Hanabusa Elko Hanabusa ... Japanese Screaming Woman
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Storyline

In Tokyo, a ruthless gang starts holding up U.S. ammunition trains, prepared to kill any of their own members wounded during a robbery. Down-at-heel ex-serviceman Eddie Spannier arrives from the States, apparently at the invitation of one such unfortunate. But Eddie isn't quite what he seems as he manages to make contact with Sandy Dawson, who is obviously running some sort of big operation, and his plan is helped by acquaintance with Mariko, the secret Japanese wife of the dead American. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

CinemaScope brings you the story Tokyo couldn't hide - Washington couldn't hold back! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

28 August 1955 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tokyo Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,380,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sessue Hayakawa's dialogue was looped by the US-born actor Richard Loo, presumably because Hayakawa's accent was too thick. In 1955, before Hayakawa's American comeback in "Bridge on the River Kwai," this went unnoticed, but today, Loo's higher, recognizable voice combined with the knowledge of what Hayakawa's actual voice sounds like, makes the dub quite obvious. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Griff: But ever since you saved this guy's neck, you've been acting funny, well I know what you're trying to do, but you're not going to get away with it, cuz I won't let you.
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Connections

Remake of The Street with No Name (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade in Blue
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the bar when Charlie sees Mariko
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Noir meets Noh: Fuller's remake of Street With No Name
25 February 2002 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

In the mid-1950s, using the same screenwriter (Harry Kleiner) and cinematographer (Joe MacDonald) as in the original, the unpredictable Samuel Fuller remade 1948's The Street With No Name as House of Bamboo. For starters, he set in not in anonymous Center City but in post-war Japan -- the first American movie filmed there since the Second World War.

Even in color, Fuller's Tokyo has a grey, slummy look to it, punctuated only by women in blood-red kimonos shuffling through the Ginza. It's an open city where vice flourishes and where ex-G.I. Robert Ryan runs a string of pachinko parlors as a cover for a crime ring. Military investigators and Japanese police tumble to these activities when a U.S. guard dies during a train robbery. And thus enters Robert Stack, sent by the army to infiltrate the gang and solve the murder.

Fuller deals his cards from a deck shuffled differently from his predecessor, William Keighley (who directed Street). It's not clear at the outset who Stack is, keeping us off-balance for a while; there's also a cross-cultural love affair between Stack and Shirley Yamaguchi, the widow of a slain gang member -- Ryan's standing orders are to leave no wounded to tell tales. A twisted erotic charge links Ryan to his pursuer; hinted at in the original, here it deepens the dynamic of Ryan's jealous obsession with his "ichiban," or favorite lieutenants.(There are enough sliding rice-paper screens to fill all of Douglas Sirk's movies with metaphorical barriers, too.)

Far from merely capitalizing on the 50s fad for shooting on locations around the newly opened globe, Fuller seems to construct another metaphor -- for the Occupation of Japan as exploitative, parasitic. Luckily he doesn't press this too far, and House of Bamboo stands as an offbeat, deftly made crime thriller from late in the noir cycle -- albeit with Mount Fujiyama squatting serenely in the background.


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