The Yakuza (1975)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
In this thriller, former soldier Harry Kilmer returns to Japan to help rescue a friend's daughter. Once he arrives in the country, he discovers that the daughter has been kidnapped by the Japanese mafia. In order to battle them, Kilmer has to ask a favor of an old enemy.
Related News & Features
WB Slices into a "Yakuza" Remake
– Rotten Tomatoes
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for The Yakuza
A confused and diffused film which bites off more than it can artfully chew.
A superior action movie, but all the same, it's for audiences that have grown accustomed over the last few years to buckets of blood, disembowelments and severed hands flying through the air.
Interesting and well-acted, if clumsy, American take on the Japanese gangster genre.
...Mitchum, armed with a shotgun and a pistol, is particularly bad-*** here...
The movie is not your routine shoot-'em-up action adventure but an intricate weaving of people, conventions, and personal relationships.
There are enough double-crosses to satisfy the most jaded fans of the genre.
Audience Reviews for The Yakuza
"When an American cracks up, he opens up the window and shoots up a bunch of strangers. When a Japanese cracks up, he closes the window and kills himself. Everything is in reverse."
Not quite as wonderful as The Friends of Eddie Coyle, this is still a pretty great late Mitchum movie, and as an example of mid-Seventies Hollywood flirting with the Far East, The Yakuza is certainly better than Peckinpah's The Killer Elite. By modern standards the film is so slow-moving it barely qualifies as a thriller, though the funereal pacing is very deliberate, emphasising the dignity of the characters, maximising the tension and making the sudden, cathartic eruptions of violence all the more startling. The whole movie is brilliantly shot and edited, not just the splendid fight scenes, with Pollack cleverly cutting through much of the script's wordy exposition by carrying the dialogue of one scene over into the next. Among the interesting credits, the script was written by Leonard and Paul Schrader, with rewrites by Robert Towne; Robert Aldrich was originally slated to direct but Mitchum had him replaced by Pollack; and Mitchum's love interest is played by Keiko Kishi, who played the 'Woman in the Snow' in Kobayashi's Kwaidan.
My 2nd favorite Schrader script, my 2nd favorite Robert Towne script and my 2nd favorite Sydney Pollack film.More
An american meets the dark and violent japanese underworld. an ode to friendship, honor codes and sacrifice among far east gangsters.More
Really exciting and haunting East-meets-West-head-on thriller with tough hero Robert Mitchum who goes against the yakuza (Japanese gangster) to protect his Japanese friends he trusts like a family.More
Discuss The Yakuza on our Movie forum!