7.4/10
6,589
46 user 92 critic

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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A violent thug plays opposing yakuza bosses against each other.

Director: Seijun Suzuki
Stars: Jô Shishido, Misako Watanabe, Tamio Kawaji
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
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
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
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
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
    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
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
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
Kawaita hana (1964)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A gangster gets released from prison and has to cope with the recent shifts of power between the gangs, while taking care of a thrill-seeking young woman, who got in bad company while gambling.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda
Stars: Ryô Ikebe, Mariko Kaga, Takashi Fujiki
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
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »
Edit

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: A killer mustn't be human. He must be tough and cool. He mustn't be affected by love and loneliness.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nihon eiga no hyaku nen (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Number One With a Bullet
1 December 2000 | by sisteraySee all my reviews

While the British were playing the psychedelic numbers game with "The Prisoner," 1967 brought the Japanese Seijun Suzuki's "Branded to Kill." This story of a hit-man reduced to a number leads a cold killer through a surreal journey to his humanity. As the movie reveals emotions to the main character, he is struggling with his past, and is pitted against the mysterious #1.

This movie, outside of being visually stunning, is exceptional in how it explores emotions versus purpose. It beautifully juxtaposes the drive for a career, its duty and its devastation, against the desire for love and the weakness of human nature. "Branded to Kill" meshes the beauty of the film noir shadows with a surrealism laid on the foundations of Luis Bunuel. This hardboiled tail meshes dark shots with cut outs and overlays, as if a the Yakuza were shot by Man Ray.

Thankfully most of Suzuki's films have been released on video. Now he may achieve the respect and notoriety that he has earned.


17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed