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The Yakuza


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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: #76,879 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

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
58
4 star
25
3 star
5
2 star
2
1 star
0
See all 90 customer reviews
Great action and great acting.
Kurt Harding
Working with a Japanese film crew, and communicating through a translator, it was most fortunate that Pollack had a solid screenplay to work from.
trebe
Romance, Honor, Duty, Friendship.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By the wizard of uz on 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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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Richardson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 on January 17, 2007
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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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Cordell on April 10, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is one of the best action films to be made in the seventies and late sixties. It stays away from the anti-establishment preachiness so popular during that time and goes for classic hard-boiled action. And, as noted by others ,also explores the concepts of honor and friendship. During this time period several of Hollywood's older leading men who had been real studs in the forties and early fifties (Mitchum, Holden, Brian Keith, John Wayne) were turning out some superior action movies with intelligent scripts. The Yakuza is no exception. Here you have two wildly different cultures meeting, clashing, but also finding much in common. Two strong and principled men working together, even though at first they dislike one another, both always having to work at staying true to their principles while dealing with the world and those who are not so ethical. Some might find the message that violence and vengence have a place in the scheme of things and can actually be cleansing to be disturbing, but this story is about two warriors(essentially). The warrior strives for perfection in many things, but pacifiscm isn't one of those. When one is betrayed by a friend,or one's blood is betrayed then retribution must be dealt to the betrayer and sometimes honor can only be restored by cutting off one's finger. To a Western viewer much of this is inconceivable - we're all to enlightened anymore, but I found this movie to have a ring of truth to it. Though when I recently watched it with my wife she found it to be somewhat grotesque. She loves the Lethal Weapon movies - which have as much substance to them as cotton candy. This movie is a much more solid piece of filmaking in which the violence has a place. I found it to be restrained and not gratuitous.Read more ›
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