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House Of Bamboo [DVD]

Robert Ryan , Robert Stack , Samuel Fuller    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Shirley Yamaguchi, Cameron Mitchell, Brad Dexter
  • Directors: Samuel Fuller
  • Writers: Samuel Fuller, Harry Kleiner
  • Producers: Buddy Adler
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Sep 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,451 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A Sam Fuller directed Japanese crime drama from the 1950s. Sandy Dawson (Robert Ryan) heads a ruthless gang of ex-servicemen who commit robberies with military precision in post-war Tokyo. When undercover Army investigator Eddie Spanier (Robert Stack) joins the gang, its a race against time. He has to earn the respect and trust of Dawson and his gang members, uncover their operation and get out before his cover is blown.


One of Samuel Fuller's best, tough, sometimes nasty, but always exciting... unites three of his favorite topics: military comradeship, the underworld, and the Far East. --Chicago Reader

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

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

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death in the Bath Tub. 20 Sep 2010
Sam Fuller never made boring films, and "House of Bamboo", his very original remake of the earlier Richard Widmark film "The Street With no Name", is no exception. Stunningly shot, Fuller moved the location of the action to Japan, the first Hollywood film to do so. Fuller loved to roam the world in search of exotic locations. The fascinating documentary "Tigrero", about a film that was never made highlights this.

The film concerns the efforts of an army investigator to infiltrate a gang of American thugs who are carrying out daring and violent robberies in Tokyo. But the closer to Caesar the closer the danger, and as the investigator closes in on his target, his own position becomes perilous. Robert Ryan gives a tour de force as the gang leader. One of the greatest American actors of his era, his performance is effortlessly sublime. The one take shot, when he casually guns down Cameron Mitchell in a bath tub, and then gives a chilling monologue over the body, is the jewel in the crown. The film is pure hokum of course. The thought that an American gang ignorant of Japanese language and customs could simply muscle in on Yakuza turf is laughable. In reality they wouldn't have lasted long. But Fuller shows an appreciation of all things Japanese in his expansive filming, and obviously fancied an all expenses trip to Japan.

Ryan is ably supported by Robert Stack in a hard boiled role that seems a precursor to his later Elliott Ness. Star Trek's original Dr Bones McCoy, AKA DeForest Kelly is also surprisingly effectve as a henchman. It was also nice to see Harry Carey jnr in a brief role outside his usual westerns.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BETTER 50s THRILLERS 2 Dec 2008
Although over fifty years since the making this film has stood the test of time well. A good story set in post war Japan with some scenes set in the delightfull Japanese gardens form an excellent backdrop for an interesting and entertaining watch. It is also well cast with Robert Stack as the good guy and Robert Ryan the hood and has a climax among the best Ive seen in some time. In all good entertainment for all the family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fuller power 23 Aug 2007
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
House of Bamboo isn't a great movie, but it sure is a good one, and certainly the most lavish of Sam Fuller's career. Robert Stack's hardboiled lead is pure teak - he actually makes his Elliot Ness look hip and laidback by comparison - but luckily Robert Ryan is on hand to dominate proceedings with his sheer presence and talent. Graced with a great entrance, Ryan makes much more of his quietly hubristic, possibly gay gangster than was probably ever on the page: his monologue to a man he has just murdered as he gently, sensitively holds the corpse's head above water is genuinely shocking. Throw in a great use of colour and the widescreen (this was from the days when CinemaScope really WAS CinemaScope), and you may not have a 100% classic, but you've certainly got a visual treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
House of Bamboo is directed by Sam Fuller who also co-writes with Harry Kleiner. It stars Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Shirley Yamaguchi and Cameron Mitchell. It's a CinemaScope production with colour by De Luxe, with photography by Joseph MacDonald. Leigh Harline scores the music and the film is a loose remake of The Street with No Name (1948), where Kleiner & MacDonald were also involved. The film is exclusively shot on location in Japan.

Tokyo, 1954, and an underworld outfit of American ex-servicemen are thriving on criminal activity. Their newest recruit is Eddie Spanier (Stack), in town to hook up with an old friend, his plans go awry on the news that his pal was killed during a robbery. But he catches the eye of the mob leader, Sandy Dawson (Ryan), and so begins a relationship that will have far reaching consequences for everyone involved with the two men.

A train draws to a halt on a bridge in snowy Tokyo, at its point of stopping the train is perfectly overlooked by a snow capped Mount Fuji. It's a moment of beauty, quite serene, then violence explodes as the train is robbed and death shatters the moment. And so Sam Fuller's House of Bamboo begins. One of the first Hollywood movies to be shot in Japan post World War II, it's a film that's as gritty as it is surprisingly violent. Yet the film is very beautiful in texture, courtesy of the location photography by the talented MacDonald who utilises the Scope format to capture some incredible visual treats. For this "noir-a-like" picture there's no shadows and fog, or off kilter angle plays, what there is is a beauty beset by ugly criminal things. Add in some Fuller oddity tones, terse dialogue in the script and some memorable moments of anger, and you get a film that can now be viewed as influential.
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