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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 ... Eiko (as Kishi Keiko)
Eiji Okada ... Tono (as Okada Eiji)
James Shigeta ... Goro
Kyôsuke Machida Kyôsuke Machida ... Kato
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:

Japan | USA

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

On the U.S. prints, the credits list the Japanese names in the Japanese format with the surname first followed by the given name. 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

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 American Woman: Obstacles and Assets (2018) 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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