6.9/10
2,465
49 user 42 critic

House of Bamboo (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 August 1955 (Japan)
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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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

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)

Gross USA:

$1,700,000, 31 December 1955
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

According to Robert Stack, Fuller told an actor to go down "really low" when he passed a 50 gallon drum. Without informing the actor, the director had a sharpshooter on a parallel who shot over the guy's head and into the drum. After it blew up, the actor said, "Jesus Christ! Those were real bullets!" Fuller laconically replied, "Don't worry. He knew what he was doing." 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

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 »

Connections

Featured in Minority Report (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

House of Bamboo
Music by Leigh Harline
Lyrics by Jack Brooks
See more »

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User Reviews

Technical skill props up lame story
18 September 2002 | by Pokerface11See all my reviews

This cops and robbers caper is set in Tokyo, and the colorful street life (not to mention Mt. Fuji) adds a great deal to the interest of this film.

That being said, the film really isn't that interesting. I think Fuller must have known how lame and full of holes the story was. The dialog was pure shlock: "keemona girl" Mariko tells Robert Stack "It's not you, it's me" when explaining that she can't go on living with him to protect him from smart-smart-smart-stupid crime boss Robert Ryan. (Ryan has every angle figured except who the real mole in his organization is and what to do when cops are after you--climb to the roof and shoot more bullets than one gun five guns] could possibly contain.)

In Douglas Sirk's hands, this would have been camped up to the max. Fuller is not quite the director Sirk is. Instead of excess in his characters, he goes for excess with his sets and camera work. Lots of overhead and skewed-angle shots, for no apparent purpose that I could understand. He does a superb job of capturing local color (presumably part of the film was shot in Japan), provides no subtitles for the copious amounts of Japanese that are spoken (still quite understandable to a nonspeaker, however, through action), and uses Mt. Fuji to great scenic effect. The climax recalled to me the great chase on Mt. Rushmore in North by Northwest (perhaps Hitchcock was influenced by House of Bamboo), though it occurs in an amusement park.

Fun to see "Bones McCoy" DeForrest Kelly as a mobster whose sole purpose seems to be to hand cigars out to Ryan's friends. Some homoerotic subtext--Ryan violates his rule to kill any of his gang who is wounded during the commission of a crime, ordering his Ichiban (first officer) to save a wounded Stack from a heist scene.

I can't exactly recommend going out of your way to see this film; it's not that great and it's not even very campy. But it is a skillful piece of technical film making, and worth a look if you have the chance.


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