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The Yakuza (1975)

Robert Mitchum , Ken Takakura , Sydney Pollack  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith, Herb Edelman, Richard Jordan
  • Directors: Sydney Pollack
  • Writers: Leonard Schrader, Paul Schrader, Robert Towne
  • Producers: Sydney Pollack, Kji Shund, Michael Hamilburg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JLTR8G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,112 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Yakuza" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Sydney Pollack
  • Vintage featurette "Promises to Keep"

Editorial Reviews

From Academy Award-winning director Sidney Pollack ("The Firm," "Absence of Malice") comes this suspenseful adventure about a Harry Kilmer (Oscar-nominee Robert Mitchum, "Cape Fear"), an American man determined to rescue his employer's kidnapped daughter from the Japanese mafia in Kyoto. Written by Paul Schrader ("Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull") and Acadamy Award-winner Robert Towne ("Chinatown," "Tequila Sunrise"). "Dazzling displays of swordplay," praises Newsweek, while Rex Reed proclaims this "an exciting, riveting, totally original motion picture."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man always pays his debts . . . October 3, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Well, if this film doesn't put hair on your chest, nothing will.
Look up 'film noir' in the dictionary and there should be a picture of Robert Mitchum in The Yakuza, alongside Bogie in The Maltese Falcon. It's that good of a film.
The theme is about honor, or "giri." The last bastion of manhood in an relativistic world ambivalent towards heroism, unsure about any values, moral or otherwise, and gone to hell.
Against this background, you may be a tad on the shady side of the law, but do you keep faith with your friends?
For that matter, would you risk taking a bullet for someone you personally loathe but whom you "owe" because he's saved the life of your wife and child?
The plot begins when Mitchum is approached by an old army buddy that he hasn't heard from in decades, save for the annual obligatory Christmas card. His daughter's been kidnapped by Japanese mobsters and he needs his help.
As to Mitchum, his character is established in one line.
"You've been successful?"
Mitchum: "That depends on how you figure those things."
True enough. He has no family, no friends, no one even remotely close. The film noir loner, now in his sixties.
He goes back to Japan, links up with the only woman he ever loved, and the one enemy who can help him gain entry into the dark world of the Yakuza; an ultra-traditionalist latter-day Samurai ( Tanaka Ken ) who "owes" Mitchum.
One small problem, he's no longer a Yakuza. He's been out of the mob for years. When Mitchum finds out this unpleasant bit of inforation and blurts out "I can't ask you to do that!" Tanaka Ken quietly replies: "You already have."
The aged warriors go to it again. A great story of love and betrayal. Acted in a style of understated whispers between flashing katanas that bring the house down.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just received the set and i am VERY pleased...! January 19, 2007
Format:DVD
Hi Folks,

the movies all look very good..and there are a nice group of bonus features from vintage featurettes to commentaries! On Macao...I particularly enjoyed the 30 minute interview with Jane Russell and Robert Mitchum that Robert Osborne conducted...very late in the life of Mr Mitchum. The packaging it great and frankly 6 films from the great Robert Mitchum at under $10 each on DVD w/bonus features is a terrrrrifffic deal!

The movies aren't generally considered Mitchum's best or best known but when you consider you've got Jean Simmons as a costar and Otto Preminger directing Angel Face, Josef Von Sternberg helming Macao, Vincent Minnelli directing HOme From The Hill, The great Fred Zinneman directing and the legend Deborah Kerr co-starring in the Sundowners ...you can figure this isn't the bottom of the barrel either! Oh and Sydney Pollack directed The Yakuza and contributes a great commentary....

To sum up...warner Bros...continues to deliver THE VERY BEST classic titles on DVD with the best combination of quality transfers/bonus features and value packages!!!!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By Eric
Format:DVD
This is a wonderful assemblage of terrific Robert Mitchum movies, spanning nearly three decades. His star shined brighly for many years because he never lost that irresistible appeal.

He was best known for his iconic work in film noir at RKO, many of which have been released in recent years by Warner Brothers in superb DVDs. 2 more are included here, where he is under the direction of two legends: Otto Preminger at the helm in ANGEL FACE, with the great Jean Simmons, and MACAO by the one and only Josef Von Sternberg, where Mitchum once again is paired with a sizzling Jane Russell. These are a treat. Then, we move to broader territory. The amazing Vincente Minnelli, although best known for musicals, could master ANY genre, with his genius. HOME FROM THE HILL, is an example of a searing family drama, where Mitchum, Eleanor Parker and newcomers Georges Peppard and Hamilton are just terrific. Mitchum here sets the stage for Dallas' J. R. Ewing years later. An underrated masterpiece with a great score by Bronislau Kaper. Then comes one of Mitchum's truly greatest works, where under the direction of Oscar-winner Fred Zinnemann, he re-teams with Deborah Kerr in the unforgettable drama THE SUNDOWNERS from 1960. By 1969, Mitchum was ready for a little western fun, and you get that in spades from THE GOOD GUYS AND THE BAD GUYS. A delightful western comedy with an all star cast. Appropriately, the set ends with Sydney Pollack's masterpiece THE YAKUZA, a 1975 work that was ahead of its time. A brilliant performance by Mitchum, and a must have for his fans. Although you can cherry pick some of these separately, the deal you get by buying the whole box is the bargain of the Century!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Bring a Sword, Then You Bring a Gun! Mitchum Rules! September 30, 2005
When we were living in New York City, and I was twelve, my Dad told my Mom that he was taking me somewhere for a few hours. To my delight, we ended up at a ratty movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. These were the days before the monster multi-plexes. I can't remember the exact address, but it was a large one room gig that had seen it's better days. From what I could tell, some cool guy had come up with the idea of programming this low-rent theater with old Samurai flicks usually starting with the name Yojimbo...Yojimbo meets the One-Armed Warrior...you get the idea.

So, my Dad is paying for the two of us, and right before we walk inside he leans down and says to me, "You know, this is the closest thing I've ever seen to understanding the differences between the East and West." You gotta understand that my Dad hardly ever said anything. So, this comment blew me away. My attention was riveted. It took me by the collar and pulled my focus away from the windex/old candy odor of the floors, the torn seat cushions where I was sure some old rats called home, and the dirty beach towel someone had hung to keep the light out of the hallway into the "theater."

The movie exceeded my expectations. It all starts with the shot of a gangster with tatoos all over the back of his body. Safe to say, even if you've seen or read the Illustrated Man, you've never seen anything like this before. I mean who the heck would ever let anyone tattoo them from neck to toe? You've basically got it all. Robert Mitchum in his creaky, world-weary mode, delivering lines like a T-Rex with attitude. You've got supporting roles from the likes of Brian Keith who brings a sad, pathetic lining to his double-crossing, gambling freak role.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 70's movie
I was so glad to hear that someone had The Yakuza on DVD. I have it on VHS but don't have a VHS player.
Published 1 month ago by Art Garcia
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movies
They certainly knew how to make movies way back when. The movies in this collection are
very good indeed. I have enjoyed the ones I have seen.
Published 2 months ago by Fleabus
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Mitchum's best
Classic hard-boiled Robert Mitchum that ranks right up there with The Night Of The Hunter, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Out Of The Past, and Cape Fear.
Published 3 months ago by Film Fanatic C
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic/ Realistic Story & Acting Distinguishes this film about...
This film feels very authentic in terms of bringing the viewer into the Yakuza way of Life (& death) - but also providing insights into Japanese culture and the highly valued... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Book & Music thief, from HI
5.0 out of 5 stars Every movie collection needs this movie
What a great movie. What is more, I lived in Japan in the time this movie was shot, and so many of the scenes in an around the cities are familiar. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Murph
4.0 out of 5 stars Would see it again
good acting, interesting subject matter, very good action scenes, you will be surprised by the different revelations that occur as the movie unfolds
Published 5 months ago by agm
5.0 out of 5 stars Mitchum's the man
This is a must see for any lover of American cinema or cinematic acting in general. I believe that Robert Mitchum's performance in this film will convince the astute viewer to the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wesley
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful old film.
One of Robert Mitchems better films. Good story line and good acting. If you like American films about our relations with Japan it s a great film.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Drama
Romance, Honor, Duty, Friendship.
Robert Mitchum and Takakura Ken are great.
Sidney Pullock directed this drama about the clash of cultures.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Cult film
A film so campy & dated its good. An interesting approach; I liked viewing the locations, standard Paul Shraeder authenticity.
Published 6 months ago by Karin Fittante
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