7.2/10
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61 user 48 critic

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 ... Eiko (as Kishi Keiko)
Eiji Okada ... Tono (as Okada Eiji)
James Shigeta ... Goro
Kyôsuke Machida Kyôsuke Machida ... Kato
Christina Kokubo ... Hanako
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Mitchum and Richard Jordan had previously appeared together in The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), released one year earlier. See more »

Goofs

The plane that Kilmer is boarding at the end of the film is a Boeing 707, the one shown taking off in the last scene is a 727. 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

Recent US VHS releases are missing subtitles for Japanese dialogue in some scenes. Particularly when Ken makes an apology to his brother near the end, and the final, emotion scene between Harry and Ken. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

"I have destroyed his past, and his future"

One of the best West-meets-East films made. Great dialogues, very realistic fighting scenes, even though this film has been made so long ago, without any CGI tricks at all, yet the sword fights still look really great. But in my opinion the story, which may be shortly described with one of the sentences spoken by Harry Kilmer (Robert Mitchum) at the end of this film: "I have destroyed his past, and his future" - perhaps the story is what it makes this film so unique and timeless. Outstanding performance by Ken Takakura ("Ken Tanaka")! If you haven't seen it yet - get it now! And why do I say "get it" instead of "rent it"? Because unfortunately VHS version available in US is more than 10 minutes shorter, and European VHS versions have even more *vital to the plot* cuts! (More info here: http://www.us.imdb.com/title/tt0073918/alternateversions

or if it doesn't work try the link under "Alternate versions"). Please: don't waste your time on those! I swear these edited versions must have been edited either by some blind and deaf personae, or a child who didn't understood plot at all! Currently the only good, somewhat true to the original theatrical print (just slightly more than 3 minutes shorter), are the 2hr long versions available on the not-so-legal (and not too good quality-wise) VCDs released in Hong Kong and Asia.

I rated this film very high - and I am not any big sword-actioneers fan, but nor is this movie any kind of sword fighting flicks. Its just a great story that is told (or actually shown) very well, and it deserves full 10/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

19 March 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Yakuza See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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