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Pistol Opera (2001)

Pisutoru opera (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Action, Drama | 27 October 2001 (Japan)
The No. 3 assassin of Japan is given the chance to usurp No. 1 and take their place.


Seijun Suzuki


Kazunori Itô (as Kazunori Itoh), Takeo Kimura
1 win. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Makiko Esumi ... Miyuki Minazuki
Sayoko Yamaguchi Sayoko Yamaguchi ... Sayoko Uekyo
Hanae Kan Hanae Kan ... Sayoko Uekyo
Masatoshi Nagase ... Man dressed in black
Mikijirô Hira ... Goro Hanada
Kirin Kiki ... Rin
Kenji Sawada ... Man at Tokyo Station
Haruko Katô ... Shizuka Orikuchi
Tomio Aoki
Yoji Tanaka Yoji Tanaka ... Koroshi-ya No. 7
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoshiyuki Morishita ... Killer no.9
Kensaku Watanabe Kensaku Watanabe ... (as Sakutarô Inui)
Jan Woudstra Jan Woudstra ... Painless Surgeon


Did you know that there is a ranking of the best assassins of Japan? In the spirit of 1967's Branded To Kill, also by director Suzuki Seijun, comes Pistol Opera. The assassin ranked third is out to kill the first and move herself up the ladder of hierarchy. What follows is drama, action, a mysterious visitor, an impolite manhandling of a man in a wheelchair, Japanese costumes, several employment offers, a couch and even a pre-teen girl. Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Action | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


As Uekyo speaks into the camera with a Union Jack draped over her, the boom mic drops into the picture for a second or two, then moves up and out of sight. See more »


Man dressed in black: Soon I'll relieve your anxiety with the relief of death.
See more »


References Carmen Comes Home (1951) See more »

User Reviews

Beautiful but Incomprehensible
6 January 2004 | by danfeitSee all my reviews

I was eager to see "Pistol Opera" for a variety of reasons. I had recently seen "Branded to Kill" and the idea of a follow-up/sequel/remake by the same director intrigued me. Furthermore, I am a fan of the lead actress, Makiko Esumi, from her work on Japanese TV.

Sadly, this film goes nowhere...slowly. The plot seemed simple enough but within minutes I was lost. These "professional killers" spend nearly the entire film killing each other which begs the question who is employing these people and what purpose they serve. Lots of these scenes look wonderful and have some fun ideas, but nothing makes any sense. Characters deliver long, meandering soliloquies into the camera, flip-flopping from Japanese to English and back again. Neither language adds any clarity to the circumstances. The whole thing feels like some kind of experimental stage play, especially the final showdown where characters enter and exit bizarre scenery accompanied by strange, nearly naked dancers.

What the hell?

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Release Date:

27 October 2001 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Pistol Opera See more »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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