Film

The Yakuza
FILM

The Yakuza

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Yakuza © 1975 Warner Bros.



1975, 112 min., color, in English and Japanese (with English subtitles). Directed by Sydney Pollack. With Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith, Herb Edelman, Richard Jordan, Keiko Kishi, Eiji Okada, James Shigeta, Kyosuke Machida, Christina Kokubo, Eiji Go, Lee Chirillo.

Introduction and Q&A with director/writer Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull)

Few films show more deference and respect to Japanese film culture than Academy Award-winning director Sydney Pollack's overlooked 1970s gem, The Yakuza. Both a taut thriller and a touching, finely layered character piece, the film features Robert Mitchum in one of his finest roles and shows Pollack in absolute command of his skill. The Yakuza is a fine piece of American noir filmmaking from its golden age, perfectly fusing East and West. Between making The Way We Were and Three Days of the Condor, Pollack directed this little-seen homage to yakuza cinema from a script by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) and Robert Towne (Chinatown). The Yakuza stars Robert Mitchum as Harry Kilmer, a former soldier who returns to Japan to help rescue the daughter of his friend George Tanner (Brian Keith). Once he arrives in the country, Kilmer discovers that the daughter has been kidnapped by the yakuza. To save the girl, Kilmer finds himself left with no other options than to enlist the help of an old and dangerous acquaintance, Tanaka (Ken Takakura). Behind the twists and double-crosses, there emerges the elegiac celebration of the chivalric male relationships of countless American Westerns, and quite possibly the most original introduction to the yakuza movie genre.

Part of the Globus Film Series:
Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence


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