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Tokyo Drifter

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Overview

Tokyo Drifter stands with Branded to Kill as one of the best-known and most acclaimed films of Seijun Suzuki, one of Japan's most talented maverick directors. A colorful riot of an action drama, Tokyo Drifter, like many of Suzuki's films, transforms a standard gangster film plot into a vehicle for his own loopy brand of filmmaking, featuring gorgeous cinematography, unconventional storytelling techniques, and a dark sense of humor. This particular example centers on Tetsu, a yakuza member who, when his gang is ...
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Overview

Tokyo Drifter stands with Branded to Kill as one of the best-known and most acclaimed films of Seijun Suzuki, one of Japan's most talented maverick directors. A colorful riot of an action drama, Tokyo Drifter, like many of Suzuki's films, transforms a standard gangster film plot into a vehicle for his own loopy brand of filmmaking, featuring gorgeous cinematography, unconventional storytelling techniques, and a dark sense of humor. This particular example centers on Tetsu, a yakuza member who, when his gang is disbanded, remains loyal to his boss and attempts to go straight. This is no easy task, however, as the yakuza are determined to get him back into the life -- or kill him if he refuses. The pressure soon forces Tetsu to go on the road, becoming the "Tokyo drifter" of the title, but even this is not enough to prevent his past from violently catching up with him. The film's choreographed action and vibrant color palette make the frequent action sequences, including one of the most raucous barroom brawls ever put on film, seem almost like musical numbers, resulting in a spectacularly entertaining and truly original take on the gangster drama.
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Special Features

Video piece featuring new interviews with Director Seijun Suzuki and Assistant Director Masami Kuzuu; Interview with Suzuki from 1997; Trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Viewers approaching Tokyo Drifter for the first time are well advised to buckle their seats, for Drifter is an incredible roller-coaster ride of a movie, a rich cinematic experience that dazzles and overwhelms its audience. What's particularly amazing is that it achieves this goal with the use of a screenplay that is filled with flaws, most notably gaping plot holes that would sink most other films. But Drifter is helmed by the visionary Seijun Suzuki, who, once he hit his stride, revealed himself to be a true madman of the cinema. But Suzuki's madness is born of genius, and it fills virtually every frame of Drifter. Visually, the film is a feast, a tribute to the grand and gaudy old musicals of MGM's peak period, even though the subject matter couldn't be more distant from those films. Colors play an essential thematic role in each segment, reaching a climax in a gunfire-filled scene in which the colors of the wall change suddenly and with no logical reason -- but with tremendous emotional effect. The photography is glorious, the use of music fascinating, and the editing stunning. While Drifter flirts with gimmickry, the director's "tricks" somehow come across as organic; they become the point of the film, and it's a wonderful thing to behold.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/13/2011
  • UPC: 715515090711
  • Original Release: 1966
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Time: 1:22:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 33,418

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tetsuya Watari Hondo Tetsuya
Tamio Kawachi Tatsuzo
Hideaki Nitani Aizawa Kenji
Technical Credits
Seijun Suzuki Director
Takeo Kimura Art Director
Shigeyoshi Mine Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Tokyo Drifter
1. The Red Gun [5:45]
2. Kurata's Debt [5:47]
3. Defensive-Driving Strategies [4:33]
4. Otsuka Makes His Move [6:12]
5. Gangsters at Heart [6:23]
6. Viper Tatsu [4:57]
7. The Tramp from Tokyo [5:54]
8. Charm Lady [2:04]
9. Singing and Killing [5:30]
10. Ten Yards [2:16]
11. Charmed Life [5:24]
12. Drifting [2:41]
13. Umetani's Joint [5:57]
14. Dead? [3:06]
15. Otsuka's Conditions [3:44]
16. Someday [4:26]
17. Piano Man [7:58]
18. Color Bars [:00]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Tokyo Drifter
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
      Movie
   Seijun Suzuki and Masami Kuzuu
      Play
   Seijun Suzuki
      Play
   Trailer
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
      Movie
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

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    Posted November 18, 2011

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    Posted July 27, 2011

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    Posted December 15, 2011

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    Posted December 9, 2010

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