House of Bamboo

House of Bamboo

Director: Samuel Fuller

Cast: Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Shirley Yamaguchi

     
 

Samuel Fuller directed and cowrote this typically hard-boiled drama set in Japan following World War II. Eddie Kenner (Robert Stack) is given a special assignment by the Army to get the inside story on Sandy Dawson (Robert Ryan), a former GI who has formed a gang of fellow servicemen and Japanese locals who use their muscle to take over Tokyo's pachinko racket and… See more details below

Overview

Samuel Fuller directed and cowrote this typically hard-boiled drama set in Japan following World War II. Eddie Kenner (Robert Stack) is given a special assignment by the Army to get the inside story on Sandy Dawson (Robert Ryan), a former GI who has formed a gang of fellow servicemen and Japanese locals who use their muscle to take over Tokyo's pachinko racket and commit a series of train robberies, targeting deliveries of military ammunition. Eddie is supposed to gather evidence on the murder of a soldier believed to have fallen in with the gang, and Eddie tries to blend in with the group to find out how they work. Hoping to learn more, Eddie also begins romancing Mariko (Shirley Yamaguchi), a Japanese woman who was married to the slain gangster, and he learns that the ruthless Dawson kills men who are injured during robberies rather than leave them behind to possibly testify against him. After a burglary goes wrong, Dawson becomes convinced that there's an informer in the group; wrongly believing it's Griff (Cameron Mitchell), Dawson kills his loyal soldier and makes Eddie his second in command. Veteran Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa appears as Inspector Kito, a Japanese police detective working with Eddie to crack the case.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Filmed on location in Japan, one of the most interesting features of this caper film by Samuel Fuller is its depiction of a pre-modernization Tokyo that would very soon disappear. Fuller's fascination with Japan is obvious in every frame, but the unfamiliar territory (this was his first trip to Asia), seems to have blunted his edge a bit. Compared to his other efforts, House of Bambo is downright sedate. Camera moves are kept to a minimum, and the dialogue lacks the snap and wit of his better work. There are still some wonderfully Fuller-ian moments, however, such as a scene in which Eddie (Robert Stack), too modest to get out of the bath in front of his new girl Mariko (Shirley Yamaguchi), clumsily uses chopsticks to eat a plate of eggs while in the tub, claiming it's the traditional American way. For the most part, though, the film drags much more than usual for Fuller, and the actors, with the exception of Robert Ryan's sinister turn as the gang's psychotic ringleader Sandy Dawson, are uncharacteristically stiff. While not one of Fuller's best, House of Bamboo still has enough flashes of his unique brilliance to make it worthwhile.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/07/2005
UPC:
0024543148623
Original Release:
1955
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
7,945

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by film historians James Ursini & Alain Silver; Theatrical trailer; Spanish trailer; Fox Movietone News: behind-the-scenes footage; Fox Movietone News: landing in Japan

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Ryan Sandy Dawson
Robert Stack Eddie Kenner/Spanier
Shirley Yamaguchi Mariko
Cameron Mitchell Griff
Brad Dexter Capt. Hanson
Sessue Hayakawa Inspector Kito
Sandro Giglio Ceram
Harry Carey John
Peter Gray Willy
Robert Quarry Phil
DeForest Kelley Charlie
John Doucette Skipper
Teru Shimada Nagaya
Robert Okazaki Mr. Hommaru
Barry Coe Hanson's Deputy
Elko Hanabusa Japanese Screaming Woman
Robert Kino Policeman
Rollin Moriyama Pearl Man
Reiko Sato Charlie's Girl
Fuji Pachinko Manager
Fred Dale Man
Neyle Morrow Army Corporal
Samuel Fuller Japanese Policeman
Biff Elliot Webber

Technical Credits
Samuel Fuller Director,Screenwriter
Buddy Adler Producer
Jack Brooks Songwriter
James B. Clark Editor
Leigh Haline Songwriter
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Addison Hehr Art Director
Ray Kellogg Special Effects
Harry Kleiner Screenwriter
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Joe MacDonald Cinematographer
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Stuart A. Reiss Set Decoration/Design
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Lyle Wheeler Art Director

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. A Simple Train Robbery [2:29]
2. Main Titles [1:13]
3. Cooperating Authorities [2:30]
4. A Break in the Case [2:38]
5. The Arrival of Eddie Spanier [5:51]
6. Who's the Boss? [5:09]
7. A Job Offer [9:27]
8. Your Business Is Our Business [3:08]
9. Many Apologies [4:27]
10. It Is My People's Way [3:38]
11. The Truth Be Known [7:42]
12. In Harm's Way [5:09]
13. You Killed the Wrong Man! [4:32]
14. A Pearl of a Job [4:12]
15. Sandy's Last Stand [7:09]

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