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Branded to Kill (1967)

Koroshi no rakuin (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 15 June 1967 (Japan)
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

Writers:

Hachiro Guryu (screenplay), Hachiro Guryu | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jô Shishido ... Gorô Hanada (as Joe Shishido)
Mariko Ogawa Mariko Ogawa ... Mami Hanada
Annu Mari ... Misako Nakajô (as Anne Mari)
Kôji Nanbara Kôji Nanbara ... No. 1
Isao Tamagawa Isao Tamagawa ... Michihiko Yabuhara
Hiroshi Minami Hiroshi Minami ... Gihei Kasuga
Hiroshi Chô Hiroshi Chô
Atsushi Yamatoya Atsushi Yamatoya
Takashi Nomura Takashi Nomura
Tokuhei Miyahara Tokuhei Miyahara
Hiroshi Midorikawa Hiroshi Midorikawa
Akira Hisamatsu Akira Hisamatsu ... (as Kôsuke Hisamatsu)
Iwae Arai Iwae Arai
Yû Izumi Yû Izumi
Kyôji Mizuki Kyôji Mizuki
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Storyline

The number-three-ranked hit-man, with a fetish for sniffing boiling rice, fumbles his latest job, which puts him into conflict with a mysterious woman whose death wish inspires her to surround herself with dead butterflies and dead birds. Worse danger comes from his own treacherous wife and finally with the number-one-ranked hit-man, known only as a phantom to those who fear his unseen presence. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

15 June 1967 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Branded to Kill See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nikkatsu See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

No professional actress was willing to take the role of Mami since she would be fully naked and foolish, so the role was taken by burlesque dancer Mariko Ogawa. It was her only film role. See more »

Quotes

No. 1: This is how Number 1 works: first he exhausts you, and then he kills you.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Getting Any? (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Weirdest Japanese Movie of 1967
12 April 2003 | by Jerry-93See all my reviews

Wow, I thought the Japanese turned out some weird stuff nowadays. That lame crap has nothing on this wacky thing, which requires about 57 viewings to make any kind of narrative sense.

Jo Shishido (who has cheek implants (!!) that make him look like a chipmunk) is the third best killer in Japan. Apparently, all assassins in Japan do, other than kill people, is try to better themselves in the rankings. It's much like Pokemon, in a way. Jo strives to be number one, but, not only does he have to get past a bunch of backstabbers, he has to find the #1 Phantom, the high man on the totem. And when he does, it's rip roarin' nonsense time!

It's hard to tell if this is a work of genius or of pure insanity. There's no real narrative; more like a bunch of scenes held together by the fact they're all in the same movie. Some of the stuff is so nutty, it's hard not to call it brilliant, like when Jo finally does meet Phantom and they have a sit-down, Phantom pisses his pants rather than get up and take his eyes off Jo. Or the hit that gets foiled by a butterfly. Or Jo's girlfriend's obsession with dead bugs, which lay in piles on the floor. Or the shocking amount of sex and violence in a movie made in 1967. It's really no surprise that the director had his contract summarily terminated when the studio watched this: it is the weirdest movie to come out of Japan in 1967. Or maybe ever. Be prepared to watch more than once.


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