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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:

100 years ago they were called Samurai. 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

The gambling game played by the Yakuza in the film is Tehonbiki. 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

Referenced in Making 'Taxi Driver' (1999) 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

A must see for Japanophiles
28 October 1999 | by chris-730See all my reviews

Not only is this a good 70's gangster/action flick, it is also one of the few movies about Japan ever produced in the States that does not make too many mistakes about Japanese culture.

Ken Takakura puts in a great performance which is no surprise since he first became famous in Japan for acting in yakuza (gangster) movies.

Anyone who has ever tried to understand or explain the concept of "giri" should see this movie!


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