6.8/10
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House of Bamboo (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 August 1955 (Japan)
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Planted in a Tokyo crime syndicate, a U.S. Army Investigator attempts to probe the coinciding death of a fellow Army official.

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writers:

Harry Kleiner, Samuel Fuller (additional dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Ryan ... Sandy Dawson
Robert Stack ... Eddie Kenner
Shirley Yamaguchi ... Mariko Webber
Cameron Mitchell ... Griff
Brad Dexter ... Captain Hanson
Sessue Hayakawa ... Inspector Kito
Biff Elliot ... Webber
Sandro Giglio Sandro Giglio ... Ceram
Elko Hanabusa Elko Hanabusa ... Japanese Screaming Woman
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Storyline

In Tokyo, a ruthless gang starts holding up U.S. ammunition trains, prepared to kill any of their own members wounded during a robbery. Down-at-heel ex-serviceman Eddie Spannier arrives from the States, apparently at the invitation of one such unfortunate. But Eddie isn't quite what he seems as he manages to make contact with Sandy Dawson, who is obviously running some sort of big operation, and his plan is helped by acquaintance with Mariko, the secret Japanese wife of the dead American. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

CinemaScope brings you the story Tokyo couldn't hide - Washington couldn't hold back! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

28 August 1955 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tokyo Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Tokyo, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,380,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

" House of Bamboo " was the first Hollywood movie to be filmed in Japan. See more »

Goofs

When Eddie Spanier (Robert Stack) is first knocked unconscious by members of Sandy Dawson's gang, Dawson tells one of his underlings to awaken him by tossing a bucket of ice on him. As he lies on the floor, however, Eddie flinches as soon as Dawson gives this command, before any ice actually hits Eddie's face. See more »

Quotes

Sandy Dawson: Who are you working for?
Eddie Kenner: [posing as Eddie Spanier] Spanier.
Sandy Dawson: Who's Spanier?
Eddie Kenner: Me.
Sandy Dawson: Who else you working for?
Eddie Kenner: Eddie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in You're the Worst: The Intransigence of Love (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

He Ri Jun Zai Lai
(uncredited)
Written by Xue An Liu and Lin Bei
Performed by Shirley Yamaguchi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tokyo Changed A Lot in Ten Years
8 November 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

House Of Bamboo came out in 1955 three years after the Japanese Peace Treaty effectively ended the occupation of Japan that began post World War II. Americans must have been familiar sight on the streets of Japanese cities still in 1955, we certainly had enough military personnel there. If you don't recognize that fact than you will be puzzled as to how a gang of Americans crooks could operate the way they do in the streets of Tokyo.

For those of you who don't recognize it screenwriter Harry Kleiner took the screenplay he wrote for the Henry Hathaway classic, The Street With No Name and set in down in post occupation Japan. Robert Ryan plays the gang leader part that Richard Widmark had. He's recruited a gang of former military misfits who spent more time in the stockade than in combat and made them into an effective heist gang. Ryan's got other interests, but his main income is from some well planned robberies.

The USA military intelligence gets involved when Ryan hijacks a train with military hardware and kills a soldier. Going undercover is Robert Stack in the Mark Stevens part.

Unlike The Street With No Name, Stack's allowed a little romance here in the person of Japanese actress Shirley Yamaguchi. In The Street With No Name it was Widmark who had the girlfriends and Stevens was strictly business. Sessue Hayakawa is also in the cast as the Japanese police inspector.

There's a gay subtext in the film with the relationship of Ryan with his number two, Cameron Mitchell. When Stack starts to take his place in the gang hierarchy, Mitchell reactions are of pure jealousy. In fact Mitchell's reactions are what sets in motion the climax of the film.

Which you know if you've seen The Street With No Name. House Of Bamboo boasts some mighty nice location shots of postwar Tokyo which looking at it you would hardly believe what a difference a decade might make. The title House Of Bamboo is the place that Ryan lives in and it's a pre-war structure typical of the Tokyo before General Doolittle inaugurated US bombing raids. Those wooden houses went up like tinder boxes. Note the more modern look Tokyo has in 1955.

The color might disqualify House Of Bamboo from the genre, but the film as the look and feel of a good noir film. Which is as good a recommendation as I can give it.


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