East meets West in the form of two iconic stars: Japanese gangster film star Ken Takakura teams with Mitchum in a thriller set in Tokyo’s treacherous criminal underworld. Mitchum delivers an alternately rough and sleepy, cynical and gentle performance as retired cop Kilmer, who returns to Japan after many years to help an old army buddy (Brian Keith) after his daughter is kidnapped by a yakuza boss. Navigating the complex codes of the yakuza ethos, he’s guided by Ken (Takakura), a former gangster and brother of Mitchum’s old flame, but betrayals and double crosses lie ahead in Paul Schrader’s first feature screenplay, co-written with his brother Leonard and Robert Towne. Even in his late fifties, Mitchum proves he’s fully capable of handling complex action choreography. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.
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