House of Bamboo (1955)


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Movie Info

This well-photographed crime drama was filmed in post-WWII Japan and tells the tale of an American military agent who attempts to bust up a corrupt group of Yankee soldiers who have formed a mini-syndicate to operate a string of crooked pachinko palaces.


Robert Stack
as Eddie Kenner aka Spanier
Robert Ryan
as Sandy Dawson
Brad Dexter
as Capt. Hanson
Sessue Hayakawa
as Inspector Kito
Elko Hanabusa
as Japanese Screaming Woman
Jack Maeshiro
as Bartender
May Takasugi
as Bath Attendant
Robert Okazaki
as Mr. Hommaru
Neyle Morrow
as Army Corporal
Robert Kino
as Policeman
Frank Kwanaga
as File Clerk
Rollin Moriyama
as Pearl Man
Reiko Sato
as Charlie's Girl
Sandy 'Chikaye' Azeka
as Charlie's Girl at Party
as Pachinko Manager
Frank Jumagai
as Pachinko Manager
Harris Matsushige
as Office Clerk
Barbara Uchiyamada
as Japanese Girl
Barry Coe
as Hanson's Deputy
Reiko Hayakawa
as Mariko's Girl Friend
Sandy Ozeka
as Sandy's `Kimono Girl'
Samuel Fuller
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for House of Bamboo

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (5)

A masterpiece that pinpoints the sublime in Fuller's sensationalism and earns every inch of its widescreen real estate.

Aug 24, 2011 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Novelty of scene and a warm, believable performance by Japanese star Shirley Yamaguchi are two of the better values in the production.

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A lean, hard-boiled, sharp detective thriller with just a light touch of Madame Butterfly.

Mar 25, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

House of Bamboo offers all Fuller's key themes and motifs in a characteristic thriller form: dual identities, divided loyalties, racial tensions, life (and cinema) as war.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

One of Samuel Fuller's best, a tough, sometimes nasty, but always exciting 1955 effort in 'Scope and color that unites three of his favorite topics: military comradeship, the underworld, and the Far East.

May 14, 2003 | Full Review…

The deficit of narrative and tonal cohesion prevents it from matching or exceeding the quality of the film it was loosely remade from: William Keighley's The Street With No Name (1948).

Dec 27, 2018 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for House of Bamboo


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.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


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.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


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

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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