7.3/10
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53 user 38 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 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:

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:

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

First screenplay written by Paul Schrader, written in partnership with Robert Towne. 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

Eiko Tanaka: Did you speak to Ken?
Harry Kilmer: Yeah
Eiko Tanaka: Does he know we are here?
Harry Kilmer: Sure.
Eiko Tanaka: Is he unhappy?
Harry Kilmer: I'm on my way over to see him now.
Eiko Tanaka: But is he unhappy?
Harry Kilmer: Of course he's unhappy, he's been unhappy ever since he lost the war. I keep trying to tell him it's not his fault, he won't take my word for it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Rumors have abounded that a longer 123-minute version was released in Japan. Warner Bros. library archivists have stated that they have no evidence that such cut exists, and the longest print in their inventory is 112 minutes. See more »

Connections

Remade as The Yakuza 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

 
widely unrecognized gem
9 January 2002 | by rupieSee all my reviews

I have to agree with the preponderance of viewers here who rate this as a neglected classic of the 70's. All aspects of the film - performances, script, and direction - raise this to the level of greatness. This is certainly among Mitchum's greatest performances - his subdued, world-weary toughness undergirds the movie. The story as has been noted, is a rich and multilayered one with a sadness that aspires to and quite nearly reaches the level of tragedy. It also must be noted that this is one of the most effective portrayals of Japanese culture on celluloid. The movie does not shrink from violence; the various scenes of assassination and slaughter could have been done by Peckinpah. The movie deserves a restoration and should be brought to tv in letterbox mode. (Are you listening, American Movie Classics?)


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