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The Yakuza (1974)

American private-eye Harry Kilmer returns to Japan to rescue a friend's kidnapped daughter from the clutches of the Yakuza.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Paul Schrader (screenplay), Robert Towne (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Mitchum ... Harry Kilmer
Ken Takakura ... Tanaka Ken
Brian Keith ... George Tanner
Herb Edelman ... Wheat
Richard Jordan ... Dusty
Keiko Kishi Keiko Kishi ... Eiko (as Kishi Keiko)
Eiji Okada ... Tono (as Okada Eiji)
James Shigeta ... Goro
Kyôsuke Machida Kyôsuke Machida ... Kato
Christina Kokubo Christina Kokubo ... Hanako
Eiji Gô Eiji Gô ... Spider (as Go Eiji)
Lee Chirillo Lee Chirillo ... Louise
M. Hisaka M. Hisaka ... Boyfriend
William Ross William Ross ... Tanner's Guard
Akiyama Akiyama ... Tono's Guard
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Storyline

Harry Kilmer returns to Japan after several years in order to rescue his friend George's kidnapped daughter - and ends up on the wrong side of the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese mafia... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Secret Society of Japan See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

21 December 1974 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Yakuza See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This script sold for $300,000 which was the highest amount ever paid for a script at the time. See more »

Goofs

The boom mic is clearly visible in one scene when Oliver Wheat grabs his cat while telling the story of Eiko to Dusty, the mic appears behind the table and is retracted as Wheat advances. See more »

Quotes

Dusty: This Giri...
Tanaka Ken: Giri? Hai.
Dusty: It means obligation, right?
Tanaka Ken: Burden.
Dusty: Burden?
Tanaka Ken: It's called, 'the burden hardest to bear.'
Dusty: Yeah, well, suppose you don't bear it. I mean, no one's going to come down on you?
Tanaka Ken: No.
Dusty: Well, you guys believe in some kind of Heaven and Hell?
Tanaka Ken: No.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

First U.S. network television showing was on the late-night schedule of the CBS network, under the title, "Brotherhood of the Yakuza," and was edited to meet broadcast standards of the time. Even compared to subsequent syndicated TV prints, the editing was horrendous, so much so that one could not follow the story. For example, in the last scene, the uninitiated viewer would have no idea why Kilmer's hand is bandaged. See more »

Connections

Referenced in ...Promises to Keep (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Only the Wind
Japanese Lyrics Yû Aku (as Aku Yu)
Composed by Dave Grusin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Admirable Noir from the 1970s
8 October 2006 | by silas10961See all my reviews

Fascinating moody thriller reminiscent of Blade Runner in a variety of aspects from the score, to sound design, and the fashion in which setting/architecture almost plays a character in the film. Infrequent but intense action scenes punctuate the film. Would make a fascinating double billing with Blade Runner. Mitchum and cast deliver solid performances. Though I doubt the film will reveal as many layers as BR does upon repeated viewings, it is still quite worth seeing and seems to have gone unnoticed or underrated. Still not available on DVD. Mitchum fans, noir junkies. and BR fans are bound to find this a rewarding experience. Highly recommended.


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