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In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Phoenix Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is squashed when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. This onslaught of stylized violence and trippy colors got director Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill) in trouble with Nikkatsu studio heads, who were put off by his anything-goes, in-your-face aesthetic, equal parts Russ Meyer, Samuel Fuller, and Nagisa Oshima. Tokyo Drifter is a delirious highlight of the brilliantly excessive Japanese cinema of the sixties.
Video interviews with director Seijun Suzuki and Masami Kuzuu
Interview with Suzuki from 1997
Original theatrical trailer
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Howard Hampton
I looked forever. Fantastic piece of film noire. Gritty tale about trying to escape the Japanese mafia and being drug back in. Read morePublished 6 months ago by someone
Great Yakuza mobster movie. Love the tone and setting of this movie. Memorable characters and setpieces. Great production put in by Criterion as always.Published 20 months ago by LE
Watching this as a straight-ahead movie is difficult. The plot starts and stops and veers into strange places. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by marko a pyzyk
No offense to the fans.
But just a warning if your expecting 007 Japanese style.
This film if I had to put it? Read more
This is the psychedelic sixties at its most wild and most Japanese. It's hard to follow, emotionally hollow, manic, and wonderful. Read morePublished on May 29, 2012 by Jonathan
While visually interesting, Tokyo Drifter lacks a cohesive story or any character development. It seems as if the editor removed the most important scenes. Read morePublished on April 26, 2010 by DW
A colorful explosion of boredom, complete with homosexual subplots between gangsters and their underlings. Read morePublished on October 18, 2005 by Nicholas Merchant