Yakuza

The Yakuza

4.5 2
Director: Sydney Pollack

Cast: Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith

     
 

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Warner has assembled a solid edition of The Yakuza with this DVD. The anamorphic, widescreen transfer looks slightly worn in spots but offers rich colors and sharp detail overall. Unfortunately for some fans, this disc uses the shorter cut of the film than has been used in all video versions of this title. The mono audio is a fairly basic mix but it is

Overview

Warner has assembled a solid edition of The Yakuza with this DVD. The anamorphic, widescreen transfer looks slightly worn in spots but offers rich colors and sharp detail overall. Unfortunately for some fans, this disc uses the shorter cut of the film than has been used in all video versions of this title. The mono audio is a fairly basic mix but it is presented in a crisp, distortion-free style and does its job well. The disc also offers a few noteworthy bonus features. The first a commentary track by director Sydney Pollack: he falls prey to gaps of silence at a few point but is an excellent speaker who offers plenty of details on all aspects of the production and also some background details on Japanese culture. Also included is a vintage production featurette on the film that runs twenty minutes and offers fans a lot of on-the-set footage. Fans might have wanted to see some of the ten minutes' worth of scenes that were cut from the theatrical version but the quality presentation and worthwhile extras help to make up for that disappointment. In short, this disc offers a solid way to catch up with an underrated gem of 1970's Hollywood filmmaking.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Based on the debut script of the 27-year-old Paul Schrader, Sydney Pollack's autumnal thriller is an interesting, if uneven exploration of the writer's trademark themes of guilt, honor, and expiation. Reflecting the immersion of the Schrader brothers in Japanese culture, the film combines a rather sobering meditation on the nature of sacrifice with action sequences showcasing the skills of the immensely popular Ken Takakura. Robert Mitchum jettisons his air of jaded insouciance in playing the rueful WWII vet, one of the best roles of his later career. In his scenes with his former lover (Keiko Kishi) and his former opponent (Takakura), the film achieves a tone of austere regret rare in American movies. But, the attempt to create an atmosphere of looseness and spontaneity among the Americans give their scenes a fatal slackness, with strategy sessions so relaxed that it seems like wiping out an army of yakuza is simply a chore to be performed on the way to the first tee. Although Pollack's action choreography is often awkward, and many of his visual choices seem plodding and uninspired, his skill in handling actors is in evidence.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/23/2007
UPC:
0012569753150
Original Release:
1975
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:52:00

Special Features

Commentary by director Sydney Pollack; Vintage featurette Promises to Keep; Languages: English & Français; Subtitles: English & Portugês (Feature film only)

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Mitchum Harry Kilmer
Ken Takakura Ken Tanaka
Brian Keith George Tanner
Herb Edelman Wheat
Richard Jordan Dusty
James Shigeta Goro
Christina Kokubo Hanako
Denis Akiyama Tono's Bodyguard
Lee Chitillo Louise Tanner
Go Eiji Spider
Harada Goro's Doorman
M. Hisaka Boyfriend
William Ross Tanner's Bodyguard
Keiko Kishi Tanaka Eiko
Kyosuke Mashida Kato Jiro
Eiji Okada Tono Toshiro

Technical Credits
Sydney Pollack Director,Producer
Duke Callaghan Cinematographer
Basil Fenton-Smith Sound/Sound Designer
Stephen B. Grimes Production Designer
Dave Grusin Score Composer
Donald Guidice Editor
Dorothy Jeakins Costumes/Costume Designer
D. Michael Moore Asst. Director
Gary Morris Makeup
Kozo Okazaki Cinematographer
Richard Parker Special Effects
Arthur Piantadosi Sound/Sound Designer
Leonard Schrader Original Story
Paul Schrader Screenwriter
Thomas G. Stanford Editor
Frederic Steinkamp Editor
Robert Towne Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Yakuza
1. What Is the Yakuza? [3:06]
2. Credits [2:26]
3. Kilmer Takes the Job [5:04]
4. Still Japan [3:50]
5. Backstory [2:52]
6. Reunion With Eiko [5:37]
7. Ken's Whereabouts [3:33]
8. Kendo Master [3:17]
9. Obligation [4:10]
10. The Rescue [3:59]
11. Something You Can Never Pay [3:23]
12. Feelings of Danger [3:23]
13. Overture To Goro [5:37]
14. Tono Pressures Tanner [1:12]
15. Missing Finger's Meaning [3:24]
16. No Deal, He's Family [2:23]
17. Bathhouse Assassin [4:22]
18. Very Badly Hurt [3:26]
19. Dusty's Assignment [2:46]
20. Waking Up the Gods [2:10]
21. Deadly Attack [2:02]
22. Brother's Request [5:01]
23. Truth About Ken [2:45]
24. Double-Crosser's Death [1:46]
25. Two-Many Army [1:48]
26. Bullets, Blades and Blood [4:36]
27. Clash With Kato [6:04]
28. No More Secrets [3:23]
29. First Token of Apology [2:50]
30. Second Token of Apology [4:45]
31. Bowing Out [4:13]
32. End Credits [1:42]

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The Yakuza 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great movie if you enjoy action combined with deep philosophical motif.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very recommended film on Japanese gangsters and the meaning of a promise made and kept even at terrible cost. Mitchum gives outstanding, low key rperformance of aging investigator called to return a favor by helping a friend who in turn betrays him. He then has to ask for help thus setting in motion a series of overlaping obligations, each with its own consequences. Thoughtful, sometimes slow, other times violently fast, never boring. Beautiful, memorable music, excellent supporting cast includes young Richard Jordan. Ken Takahura is THE Yakuza -look for him in a mirror image role in the 1980s film ''Black Rain''.