The Yakuza (1974)

R   |    |  Action, Crime, Drama

The Yakuza (1974) Poster

American private-eye Harry Kilmer returns to Japan to rescue a friend's kidnapped daughter from the clutches of the Yakuza.



  • James Shigeta in The Yakuza (1974)
  • Sydney Pollack in The Yakuza (1974)
  • Robert Mitchum and Ken Takakura in The Yakuza (1974)
  • Sydney Pollack and Ken Takakura in The Yakuza (1974)
  • Herb Edelman in The Yakuza (1974)
  • Ken Takakura in The Yakuza (1974)

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User Reviews

22 April 2007 | theVHSrocks
| A building 70s thriller. Very thoughtful and dramatic yet also punctuated by ACTION!
Your not likely to see a more somber and serious gangster film. I find myself hardpressed to find another film like this with the exception of In Cold Blood that approaches the world of crime in such a somber manner that takes into account all the facets with tone that is 100% not a comedy. This film takes itself extremely seriously. This isn't any Scareface, Goodfellas, or even The Godfather. This is crime told in the same manner as a European character drama. Only the body count suggest the films actiony and possibly exploitative intentions.

The film follows our main character revisiting his old-WW2 roots in Japan, half revisiting loved ones and half going on a mission to rescue his old friend's daughter, who was kidnapped by a Yakuza crime lord. So, we get reconciliation and ponderings about their life in addition to a thickening plot filled with violent set pieces. The characters are extremely thoughtful, and much of the film is based around the choices people choose to make as pertaining to what they see to be their duty and debts.

We also get a very interesting look at Japanese culture and a sizable amount of gore. But still, though, even with today's inhibition about showing violence and fascination with Japan, they wouldn't make mob movies like this anymore.

If you enjoy action with slow-paced character-drama, this is definitely for you.

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