House of Bamboo (Fox Film Noir)
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Top Customer Reviews
Sandy Dawson (Robert Ryan) heads up a gang of ex-servicemen in Tokyo who pull off robberies with military precision and complete ruthlessness. If anyone gets wounded, he's killed right then. The U.S. Army and the Japanese police join forces to crack the gang. They send in a ringer, Eddie Spanier (Robert Stack), to infiltrate the gang. Spanier is a false identity; he's actually an Army crime investigator. What follows is the story of Dawson's operation and how it works, and of Spanier gradually gaining Dawson's trust. The climax pits the two against against each other when Dawson at last learns of Spanier's real job.
The movie was shot in Tokyo and looks great. Anyone who has spent time there will recognize a number of locations. (One false note is when Samuel Fuller cuts to a scene that was actually filmed in Kamakura at the Great Buddha and at the Hachiman shrine.) Robert Ryan and, in a smaller role, Cameron Mitchell as Griff, his second in command, do first-rate jobs, especially Ryan. Sandy Dawson is a dangerous man, superficially polite and solicitous, but not far below the surface is a big ego, a streak of cruelty and what could be a hint of homoerotic feelings for Spanier. This isn't stressed, but it explains Dawson's actions concerning Spanier, and his intensity when he finds he has been betrayed. Dawson is also just a bit off. His last dialogue with a silent Griff is not that of a man who is in total command of his marbles. Ryan dominates the movie.Read more ›
Robert Stack plays an undercover cop who infiltrates Ryan's gang to find out exactly how the man murdered at the beginning of the film during the heist bought it. Thanks to not only colorful settings, but Ryan's great performance, this is better than it should be. The script is kind of ho-hum. Stack is OK, pretty good, not great; he's Robert Stack. He falls for the widow of the murdered guy; she's Japanese so Fuller brings in another (semi-)controversial element, interracial love (which he also did in Crimson Kimono).
Fuller's an original, no question. Whether that originality is always of high quality is questionable, but he does love to hit the viewer in the face with issues challenging social convention and in that respect, he's definitely worth watching. When he's great--as in Pickup on South Street, or Shock Corridor--where everything fits together and purrs like a Ford Cobra engine--he's unbeatable. Here, in House of Bamboo, he gets some of the issues in, but the story is nowhere near as strong as it could or should be.
Worth seeing. Owning? I dunno.
When a gang of hoodlums robs a supply train carrying Japanese civilians and American military supplies across the Japanese countryside, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Military Police are called upon to investigate. Sergeant Keller (Robert Stack) goes undercover, posing as Eddie Spanier, old friend of a gangster killed on the job. His first order of business is to track down the dead man's anguished wife, Mariko (Shirley Yamaguchi), who knows nothing of her husband's work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant Film, filmed in CinemaScope and DeLuxe Color in which Fuller uses the mediums of color and the anamorphic lens to heighten the tension all around the protagonists and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Daniel G. Madigan
I love Sam Fuller's movies. The only way to not pay an exorbitant price for this blu Ray is to order it directly from Twilight Time, which is what I finally did. Read morePublished 8 months ago by ohmemercylard
It is a very cool movie. Having a detective going around trying to solve a crime is nothing new as we all know. But what this movie beings is more than that. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dovith
House of Bamboo, 1955 film
A train in Japan is halted, the guards killed, its valuable cargo stolen. Read more
Great flick, get to see Japan as it was right after WWII.Published 11 months ago by JEFFREY J HOLLOWAY
I love stuff like this -- e.eg, "Stopover Tokyo" but I am ttold by film mavens that my taste is idiosyncratic. But it's my taste and I like it.Published 13 months ago by Laurence Goldstein
Perhaps it's a bit unfair. For many years I had been wishing to get hold of this film once again and was now rather disappointed. Read morePublished 14 months ago by FILMNOIRBUFF