Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Yakuza, The (1975)

Yakuza, The (1975)

Retired detective and ex-serviceman Harry Kilmer (Robert Mitchum) is called on to help an old army friend whose daughter is being held hostage by yakuza gangsters.

Turning to a Japanese assassin who owes him a debt of honour, the cop exploits the hitman’s gangland connections to infiltrate Tokyo’s underworld.

Writers Robert Towne (of Chinatown fame) and Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) working from a story by Schrader’s brother Leonard, transform this simple idea into a complex and compelling thriller.

Director Sydney Pollack sweeps the action along at a fast pace, allowing his classy cast plenty of room for manoeuvre and making the most of his Japanese locations.

But this is Mitchum’s film, and he gives a brilliant performance throughout.


Harry Kilmer
Robert Mitchum
Ken Tanaka
Ken Takakura
George Tanner
Brian Keith
Oliver Wheat
Herb Edelman
Richard Jordan
Tanaka Eiko
Keiko Kishi
Tono Toshiro
Okada Eiji
James Shigeta
Kato Jiro
Kyosuke Machida
Christina Kokubo

Sydney Pollack