7.6/10
2,569
18 user 43 critic

Youth of the Beast (1963)

Yajû no seishun (original title)
A violent thug plays opposing yakuza bosses against each other.

Director:

Seijun Suzuki
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Police detective Tajima, tasked with tracking down stolen firearms, turns an underworld grudge into a blood-bath. Suzuki transforms a colorful pot-boiler into an on-target send-up of cultural colonialism and post-war greed.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Jô Shishido, Tamio Kawaji, Reiko Sassamori
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the 1930s, a teenager yearns for a Catholic girl, whose only desire is to reform his sinful tendencies. Hormones raging, the young man channels his unsatisfied lust into the only outlet available: savage, crazed violence.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Hideki Takahashi, Junko Asano, Yûsuke Kawazu
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A prison truck is assaulted and the two convicts inside are murdered. The prison guard on duty gets suspended for negligence and takes it upon himself to track down the killers.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Michitarô Mizushima, Misako Watanabe, Shôichi Ozawa
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After a badly done assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organisation, and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman in particular.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Jô Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari
Tokyo Drifter (1966)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After his gang disbands, a yakuza enforcer looks forward to life outside of organized crime but soon must become a drifter after his old rivals attempt to assassinate him.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Hideaki Nitani
Gate of Flesh (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An injured thief on the run finds sanctuary within a brothel of united, ruthless women.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Jô Shishido, Kôji Wada, Yumiko Nogawa
Tattooed Life (1965)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After his own gang sets him up to kill a rival mobster, a hit man is forced to flee with his younger brother.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Hideki Takahashi, Masako Izumi, Hiroko Itô
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In WW2 Manchuria, a prostitute grows to resent an abusive adjutant and falls in love with his aide.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Tamio Kawaji, Yumiko Nogawa, Isao Tamagawa
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A surreal period film following an university professor and his eerie nomad friend as they go through loose romantic triangles and face death in peculiar ways.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Yoshio Harada, Naoko Ôtani, Kisako Makishi
Crime | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The No. 3 assassin of Japan is given the chance to usurp No. 1 and take their place.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Makiko Esumi, Sayoko Yamaguchi, Hanae Kan
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A hit man is hired to kill a mob boss. After the deed is done, he and his driver are wanted dead by rival gangs who joined forces.

Director: Takashi Nomura
Stars: Jô Shishido, Jerry Fujio, Chitose Kobayashi
Kagero-za (1981)
Fantasy | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A 1920s playwright meets a beautiful woman who may be the ghost of his patron's deceased wife.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Yûsaku Matsuda, Michiyo Yasuda, Mariko Kaga
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jô Shishido ... Jôji 'Jo' Mizuno (as Joe Shishido)
Misako Watanabe Misako Watanabe ... Kumiko Takeshita
Tamio Kawaji Tamio Kawaji ... Hideo Nomoto (as Tamio Kawachi)
Minako Katsuki Minako Katsuki ... Sawako Miura
Daisaburô Hirata Daisaburô Hirata ... Shibata
Eiji Gô Eiji Gô ... Shigeru Takechi
Kôichi Uenoyama Kôichi Uenoyama ... Masao Hisano
Akiji Kobayashi ... Tatsuo Nomoto
Yûzô Kiura Yûzô Kiura ... Takeo Minegishi
Naomi Hoshi Naomi Hoshi ... Keiko
Hiroshi Kôno Hiroshi Kôno ... Seizô Honma
Eimei Esumi Eimei Esumi ... Gorô Minami
Shuntarô Tamamura Shuntarô Tamamura ... Shôichi Maeda
Mizuho Suzuki Mizuho Suzuki ... Detective Hirokawa
Zenji Yamada Zenji Yamada ... Fujita
Edit

Storyline

Joe Shishido plays a tough guy with a secret agenda. His violent behavior comes to the attention of a yakuza boss who immediately recruits him. He soon tries to make a deal with a rival gang a starts a gang war. His real motivations are gradually revealed as we find out how this all ties in with the murder of a policeman shown at the beginning of the film. Written by Fred Cabral <ftcabral@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

21 April 1963 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Brute See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This is is the first of Suzuki's films to be shot in black and white in the opening and then in color for the rest of the movie. He would do this again in Tokyo Drifter (1966). See more »

Connections

References Ame no naka ni kiete (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
gripping direction from a man bringing post-modernism and brutality to the forefront
9 March 2017 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

I think one of the aspects of Youth of the Beast, the late genre- filmmaker master Seijun Suzuki's breakthrough, to take into account is that the story moves at a breathless pace. It's not that it is a story that is hard to follow - there are a good many characters to get to know, and after a black and white prologue (though at first I wasn't sure if it was a 'show-end-at-beginning' thing before going into full color for the majority of the film), we're put right into the physical space of this seemingly violent thug played by Jô Shishido (also named Jo here, good call) - it's that Suzuki, I think, is not so much interested in the story as in how a film MOVES. After all, it is a movie, right? Let's get that motion picture moving and vibrant and with energy. This is like a shotgun blast of 60's crime cinema that makes us feel a lot of things through a lot of intense visual choreography of the frame and what is in it (i.e. the old Scorsese axiom, cinema being a matter of what's in the frame and what's out, is paramount to Suzuki)/

Youth of the Beast is not necessarily the most remarkable film as far as the story goes, and I'm sure there have been other Yakuza films and other gangster thrillers that have similarities; in a sense this isn't unlike Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars/Red Harvest, though this time the main character has more of a motive than in that story. What's remarkable is the direction and how the tone is brutal and yet it's staged in some creative ways. There's times when you know a character is about to lunge at someone else, or that we get a piece of visual information like a knife being held under a table or somewhere else, before that character lunges and strikes. Other times it's more about how he'll pan the camera, like when the car full of the one crime family gets ambushed by another car (the music cue here is especially, terribly exhilarating, and the rest of the score has a wonderful jazz rhythm to it), and when we see those faces of the guys with their masks on and how he pushes in.

Hell, even just how Suzuki uses color cinematography is impressive, all of those reds (the woman being whipped on the carpet), and how he'll have a backdrop like at the movie theater where the Yakuza do some of their business and a film screen projecting some movie or other is in the background of the frame. It feels like one of those moments where post-modernism is creeping in to Japanese cinema, and of course Suzuki would continue making such advances with Tokyo Drifter and particularly Branded to Kill. The movie is hard and rough, violent and the characters' motivations - well, I should say Jo, who is basically undercover playing one side and then another until it's an all-out war - are intense enough that the cast rises above what could be basic (even boiler-plate) B-movie pulp. I don't know how much input Suzuki had on the script, but he knows how to keep his actors moving and being interesting, whether it's Jo, who is the stand-out of the film, or his 'friend' who has a thing for the ladies.

This is pulp Japanese cinematic excellence, all feeding off of a vision that is unique.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed