Ken Takakura

  • Kôichi Saitô – Yadonashi AKA The Homeless (1974)

    Kôichi Saitô1971-1980AdventureCrimeJapan
    Yadonashi (1974)
    Yadonashi (1974)

    he Japanese remake of Robert Enrico’s french film The Last Adventure, where Alain Delon & Lino Ventura have respectively exchanged their place with Ken Takakura & Shintaro Katsu… This version also stars Meiko Kaji (Lady Snowblood) and Noboru Ando (many yakuza films).

    The Homeless follows the story of two prisoners released the same day, who meets again at the brothel where they help a prostitute to escape from yakuza. And together, they go treasure hunting.Read More »

  • Jun’ya Satô – Gorugo 13 AKA Golgo 13 (1973)

    1971-1980ActionJapanJun'ya SatôThriller

    Golgo 13 travels to the underworld of Tehran, Iran, to track down a shadowy target… Max Boa, the boss of an international crime syndicate that smuggles weapons and drugs and kidnaps women. But Boa catches wind of the cold-blooded killing machine’s intentions and has his organization go on the offense. When a mesmerizing game between murderers begins, the only result can be kill or be killed!Read More »

  • Jun’ya Satô – Shinkansen daibakuha AKA The Bullet Train (1975)

    1971-1980ActionJapanJun'ya SatôThriller

    Ken Takakura stars as a mad bomber who plants a device on a high-speed Japanese train, programmed to detonate if the train’s speed drops below 80 kilometres per hour. The trains conductor (Sonny Chiba) must keep the train moving whilst the police track the madman down.

    Most well-known for inspiring the 1994 Hollywood blockbuster Speed, The Bullet Train is a remarkably tense thriller from director Junya Satō.Read More »

  • Kinji Fukasaku – Jakoman to Tetsu aka One-eyed Captain and Tetsu (1964)

    Kinji Fukasaku1961-1970ActionAsianJapan

    In a village subsisting on its herring fishery, a one-eyed criminal named Jakoman terrorizes the inhabitants. One of them, the son of the head of one of the fish companies by the name of Tetsu, decides to overthrow Jakoman and his cohorts.

    (Remake of a 1949 movie of the same name directed by Senkichi Taniguchi written by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshirô Mifune)Read More »

  • Tomu Uchida – Mori to Mizuumi no Matsuri aka The Outsiders (1958)

    1951-1960AsianDramaJapanTomu Uchida

    Japanese Title: 森と湖のまつり

    quote:One of the major joys of writing about Japanese movies is that whenever you begin to get that tired, jaded feeling that you think you’ve seen it all and that there’s nothing left that’s ever going to set your pulse racing, you stumble across a whole previously hidden seam of movies that completely revolutionises any ideas of what Japanese cinema is. I remember getting this feeling watching the works of Hiroshi Shimizu at the 2003 Tokyo FILMeX, and I got it again at the same festival exactly one year later, during a 13-film retrospective of Tomu Uchida, which travelled to the Rotterdam Film Festival in a slimmed-down version a couple of months later.Read More »

  • Tomu Uchida – Jinsei-gekijô: Hishakaku to kiratsune aka Theater of Life: Hishakaku and Kiratsune (1968)

    1961-1970AsianClassicsJapanTomu Uchida

    Hishakaku (Koji Tsuruta), a kyakubun (visitor) with the Kokin gang, frees his lover Otoyo (Junko Fuji) from a brothel run by boss Oyokota (Tatsuo Endo), accompanied by Miyagawa (Ken Takakura) and other Kokin gangsters — and consequently brawls with Oyokota’s gang. After killing several of Oyokota’s men, including a former anikibun (elder brother) who has betrayed him, Hishakaku flees, with the police in close pursuit, and takes refuge in a strange house. There, he encounters Kiratsune (Ryutaro Tatsumi), an old man who calmly invites him in, gives him sake, and advises him to give himself up. Struck by the nobility of the old man’s character and the sageness of his advice, Hishakaku does as he says.Read More »

  • Kinji Fukasaku – Kamikaze yarô AKA Kamikaze Man: Duel At Noon (1966)

    1961-1970ActionAsianJapanKinji Fukasaku

    An elaborate criminal tango based around treasure hidden during WWII.

    Write-up by sketchesofcinema:
    Sonny Chiba and Kinji Fukasaku head to Taiwan in this international action thriller influenced by spy films and Hitchcock movies. Chiba is a playboy pilot who is mistaken for someone who he isn’t after witnessing a murder in ski centre. The other witness is a Taiwanese lady who is vacationing in Japan. Chiba agrees to fly her back home, but as soon as they land they run into gangsters who are searching for a lost WWII treasure and believe Chiba is the key to finding it.Read More »

  • Shirô Moritani – Hakkodasan aka Mount Hakkoda (1977)

    1971-1980DramaEpicJapanShirô Moritani

    Isolde Standish:
    With the change in the aesthetic of the yakuza genre that occurred in the 1970s towards the realist style of the innovator Fukasaku Kinji ‘jitsuroku’ film series, the ninkyo ethic of the 1960s films again shifted genre. After the great success of the three-part epic War and Humanity (Senso to ningen), based on the six-part novel by Gomikawa Junpei (1916-1995) and released by Nikkatsu between 1970 and 1973, epics based on the war or military themes became increasingly popular throughout the 1970s and 1980s.Read More »

  • Yasuo Furuhata – Gokuchu no kaoyaku AKA Prison Boss (1968)

    Drama1961-1970ActionJapanYasuo Furuhata


    Ken Takakura stars in yet another bad-ass Prison film, in “Prison Boss”. Here, rival gangs battle it out over ownership of a bicycle race track. The outside life for the yakuza mimics prison life in two respects,…. First, there are rules that must never be crossed and second, when opportunity arises, the rules will always be broken.Read More »

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