House of Bamboo is a regulation gangster story played against a modern-day Tokyo setting.
Novelty of scene and a warm, believable performance by Japanese star Shirley Yamaguchi are two of the better values in the production. Had story treatment and direction been on the same level of excellence, House would have been an allround good show.
Pictorially, the film is beautiful to see; the talk’s mostly in the terse, tough idiom of yesteryear mob pix. While plot deals with some mighty tough characters who are trying to organize Tokyo along Chicago gangland lines, the violence introduced seems hardly necessary to the melodramatic points being made.
Robert Stack, required to overplay surliness by the direction, is an undercover agent out to get the murderer of a GI and break up the gang of renegade Yanks.
House of Bamboo
20th Century-Fox. Dir Samuel Fuller; Producer Buddy Adler; Screenplay Harry Kleiner, Samuel Fuller; Camera Joe MacDonald; Editor James B. Clark; Music Leigh Harline Art Dir Lyle Wheeler, Addison Hehr
(Color) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1955. Running time: 102 MIN.
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