Film Review – THE YAKUZA (1974)

Yakuza, The (1974; USA/Japan; Technicolor; 123m) ∗∗∗½  d. Sydney Pollack; w. Paul Schrader, Robert Towne, Leonard Schrader; ph. Kôzô Okazaki; m. Dave Grusin.  Cast: Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith, Herb Edelman, Richard Jordan, James Shigeta, Keiko Kishi, Eiji Okada, William Ross, Denis Akiyama, Kyosuke Mashida, Christina Kokubo, Eiji Go, Lee Chirillo, Akiyama. Mitchum returns to Japan after several years in order to rescue his friend’s kidnapped daughter – and ends up on the wrong side of the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese Mafia. Mitchum and Takakura are excellent as men from different cultures who find a mutual sense of honour in taking on the powerful gang. Explosive gunplay mixes with bloody swordplay in a tense finale. Edited version runs 112m. [15]