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House of Bamboo Reviews

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August 23, 2013
I liked it, but I felt that there were some strange plot holes that kept me from really sinking my teeth into it. That said, the final scene was great (if silly)
Luke W.
October 31, 2012
This was a fairly standard film, with a few decent twists. Not bad, but I've seen better.
September 29, 2012
This was a fairly standard film, with a few decent twists. Not bad, but I've seen better.
August 31, 2012
Solid film. I'm not really sure why this ended up in the Fox Noir DVD set because not much of it takes place during the night-time--a key element of NOIR movies. However, it was still a pretty good movie starring a young Robert Stack.
November 26, 2011
This is not a realistic picture by any means, but in true Fuller style the hoary plot gets shook up by blunt cinematic brilliance and true subversiveness in order to make a truly unique world. Be sure to watch in the full Cinemascope ratio!
August 13, 2012
Hard bitten technicolour Film Noir film on loaction in Japan just 10 years after the war had ended.

Director Sam Fuller is on top form here as he weaves a tail of love and crime amid the beauty of Japan.

Robert Stack plays a tough army investigator who is assigned the task of tracking down and even tougher gang of ex GIs who have been commiting crimes and leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.

Robert Ryan is excellent as the leader of the gang Sandy Dawson who has no compucture in killing a man left behind or executing one of his own on suspicion of ratting him out.

Fuller of course fills the film with plenty of hard bitten dialogue, but we also get a belivable love story between Stack and Shrirley Yamaguchi as the widow of one of the gang.

Fullers never belittles the Japanese in the film and its to his credit that they are shown in a more positive light to that of a ruthless gang of thugs.

The climax when it comes is deftly staged as Stack hunts down his quarry in a final shoot out to the death.

If you think only quality film noir is shot in black and white then Fullers lurid masterpeice will change your mind it really is that good .
May 28, 2012
Crafty lil' crime thriller set in post-war Japan. The biggest flaw's the emphasis it puts on the subplot love story.
May 10, 2012
Maybe it is just Robert Stack, but HOUSE OF BAMBOO to crime thriller genre is like WRITTEN ON THE WIND to romance. They look similarly bright in colors, have the same kind of generic music going on at all kind, the sound kind of shabbiness in dubbing, and are both extremely melodramatic. HOUSE OF BAMBOO is not as affected and as corny (in the best sense of the word) as Douglas Sirk's melodrama, and is a very solid film for what it is.
This is my first Samuel Fuller film. My impression of him as this moment is the same as that for Sirk: greatly gifted, more to be learned from than to be looked at.
November 27, 2011
Robert Stack in a Robert Ryan-run ex-G.I. crime syndicate in post-War Tokyo.
November 12, 2011
An engaging thriller that looks awesome on the big screen. Also, it has young DeForest Kelly in it! Well, as young as the guy ever was.
November 4, 2011
House of Bamboo is an average movie. It is about a U.S. Army Investigator who attempts to probe the death of an Army official. Robert Ryan and Robert Stack give good performances. The script had some high points (i.e. setting and culture) but not enough to keep me interested. Samuel Fuller's direction of this film was okay. I was disappointed after watching this film.

Super Reviewer

January 25, 2009
This could have been a credible film noir piece were it not for the inept dialog, the brightly lit sets and the insistence that Japanese people are merely movie props to be placed here and there throughout the film like houseplants.

Super Reviewer

January 21, 2011
January has been the month of House movies. That is watching movies with house in the title. This one filmed in 1954 in Japan a time when the United States had very little culture influence on that country and this film shows the old beauty of Japan. Loaded with a host of stars. Its about a Gang of crooks from the US robbing different places in Japan, and during which a army soldier is killed and the army sends an undercover man in to bust the gang. Its a great story with great color. 4 1/2 stars, they just don't make films like this anymore.
Critique Threatt
Critique Threatt

Super Reviewer

October 5, 2010
A commercial picture directed by Sam Fuller. "House of Bamboo" reminds me a bit of "The Departed" but on a lighter scale(probably for commercial reasons). I admire the locations, Robert Stack as the undercover agent, Shirley Yamaguchi as the "Kimono girl" and Robert Ryan as the gangster kingpin.

Fuller is quite good with camera movement, the use of unexpected violence, and even taboo themes that deals with interracial. What did bother me was the visual idea of shooting on Cinemascope(for 3D effects), also felt the characters aren't really flushed out as they should have been, and the picture's climax also let me down. There should have been a better way to end the picture instead of using cheap violence.
July 16, 2009
Samuel Fuller is an odd nut to crack. Part all-american tough guy, part closeted liberal, part auteur , and part populist. His films are personal, and rough, and silly, and sloppy, and wonderful, and different from everybody else working in Hollywood. Pickup on South Street, White Dog, The Big Red One, Naked Kiss, Shock Corridor are all films I know by heart and to a certain extent worship.

House of Bamboo is not one of his greatest films, but one that you can tell was personal for the director. On the surface it's just another cops Vs. Gangster film, albit one set in the exotic milieu of post-war Tokyo. Buty underneath is a suprisingly smart, sometimes even sensitive(the interracial romance is actally touching, and the Japanese are presented with proper respect) movie.

It is not Fuller's masterpiece, but it's still better than so many other movies from other directors.
February 13, 2009
A deeper-than-it-appears film set in post-war Japan, in the noir tradition where the fine line between the good guys and bad guys is very much blurred. The astute viewer will also pick up on some suggested meanings in the multi-layered screenplay. Though historians will make more mention of the remarkable photography and use of actual locations in and around Tokyo. This makes the film an important historical document as it provides a seldom captured glimpse of what Japan and its people looked like in those years of rebuilding. As anyone who has been to Tokyo especially will tell you, the city is nothing like it was back then and seeing this film is a precious gem.
December 11, 2008
This is the worst Sam Fuller movie I've see so far.

It would have been really great but it gets bogged down with a stupid boring romantic subplot that doesn't really add anything other than maybe letting Stack hit on a Japanese chick.

I don't know, it just lacks the hard edge most Fuller movies I've seen have.

Robert Ryan is fucking great though.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2006
Even though the director is amazing, this movie could double for a torture device were it not for the beautiful Japanese setting.

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2006
In "House of Bamboo", ex-soldier Eddie Spannier(Robert Stack) arrives in Japan looking for a friend of a his who had promised him work. His widow, Mariko(Shirley Yamaguchi), informs him that he was shot by his cohorts during a robbery. Spannier wants answers but the only clue has to go on is a mention of pachinko parlors in a letter. So, he starts shaking them down for protection money until he comes across a gang led by Sandy Dawson(Robert Ryan).

"House of Bamboo" works better as a travelogue(due primarily to its excellent location shooting in Tokyo and Yokohama) than as a mystery. It could also be seen as a commentary on imperialism in that it is about a gang of American armed criminals preying on Japan(not to mention these same men's less than kind treatment of Japanese women) but it is also important to note that the Americans and Japanese work together to try to bring them down. Robert Stack is as interesting to watch as paint dry but Robert Ryan does a very cool job playing a master criminal.
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