7.3/10
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42 user 68 critic

Tokyo Drifter (1966)

Tôkyô nagaremono (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Crime | 10 April 1966 (Japan)
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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Tetsuya 'Phoenix Tetsu' Hondo
Chieko Matsubara ... Chiharu
Hideaki Nitani ... Kenji Aizawa
Tamio Kawaji ... Tatsuzo, The Viper (as Tamio Kawachi)
Ryûji Kita ... Kurata
Eiji Gô ... Tanaka
Isao Tamagawa ... Umetani
Eimei Esumi ... Otsuka
Tomoko Hamakawa ... Mutsuko
Tsuyoshi Yoshida ... Keiichi
Michio Hino ... Yoshii
Shuntarô Tamamura ... Koyanagi
Hiroshi Midorikawa
Hiroshi Chô ... Kumamoto
Akira Hisamatsu ... (as Kosuke Hisamatsu)
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Storyline

Tetsu has joined his yakuza boss in going straight, but when a rival gang threatens to bring them back into the gang wars, Tetsu must become a drifter to keep the pressure off his old boss. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

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Genres:

Action | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 April 1966 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Tokyo Drifter  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was shot and edited in 28 days. See more »

Quotes

Tetsuya 'Phoenix Tetsu' Hondo: A drifter needs no woman.
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Connections

Referenced in Spartan (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
He's a devil if he asks you twice...
21 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

In 1966 Nikkatsu, a Japanese studio, requested that one of their more "difficult" directors "calm down" on his next project. The director was Seijun Suzuki. The project was Tokyo Drifter. The result was anything but calm.

A film-noir shot through with moments of brilliant, lurid colour; the film defies all conventions be it genre, style or even something as mundane and unnecessary as narrative. One scene finds Tetsuya Watari's pouting yakuza in a tense showdown with his rival. Standing on train tracks, surrounded by clean, crisp snow the screen is split in two by a clearly visible dark blue line. The use of this visual effect is telling. It adds nothing to the story, to the characterisation, it simply looks good.

The closing sequence has to be seen to be believed. It is best described as the secret lovechild of a Gene Kelly musical and a John Woo action film. Amazing.

If for nothing else, Tokyo Drifter will long be remembered for the theme tune which hauntingly drifts through the entire film.


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