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Branded to Kill (1967)

Koroshi no rakuin (original title)
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

Seijun Suzuki originally wanted Kiwako Taichi for the female lead but she had taken a part in another film. See more »

Quotes

Misako Nakajô: [deadpan] I love you.
Gorô Hanada: Don't despise me!
See more »

Connections

References The Prisoner (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

Dazzling if disorienting crime film packed with goofy quirks - just don't try to make sense of it
2 June 2010 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

The number-three-ranked hit-man (who makes these rankings?), 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. Number One proves to be a nut, willing to go to great lengths to torment his victim, even sleep in the same bed with him. He's also so dedicated to his job that he'll urinate on himself rather than take his eyes off his victim by going to the toilet.

I'm getting used to the idea of a certain type of crime film that is so densely plotted you never quite know what's going on and are forced to give up on it in order to enjoy the picture. American films of this type, such as "The Maltese Falcon," are usually so deftly put together that you don't realize you haven't followed everything until you stop to think about it. Other countries produce films that require a bit more patience. I recently watched the French gangster pic, "Le Doulos" (1962), and learned early to resign myself to semi-confusion.

This film, from the nutty Japanese director, Seijun Suzuki, requires a extra level of resignation. Often I couldn't tell what was happening from shot to shot. Suzuki's disorienting style is sometimes marvelous and sometimes irritating; but I can't say I was ever bored. Many of the effects in this sex-and-violence-packed film are dazzling. I especially liked how the femme fatale, in her early close-ups, is perpetually drenched by a downpour whether she's out in the rain or not.

I enjoyed this film, but any viewer can be forgiven for giving up on it and saying, "I don't get it." There's no deep meaning to get. You either abandon yourself to the goofy entertainment being offered, or you don't.


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