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Tokyo Drifter (Criterion Collection Spine #39)
Tokyo Drifter
Criterion Collection Spine #39
Actors: Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Hideaki Nitani, Ryuji Kita, Tsuyoshi Yoshida
Director: Seijun Suzuki
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     1999     1hr 22min

In this free-jazz gangster film, reformed killer "Phoenix" Tetsu drifts around Japan, awaiting his own execution until he's called back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. Seijun Suzuki's "barrage of aestheticised violen...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Hideaki Nitani, Ryuji Kita, Tsuyoshi Yoshida
Director: Seijun Suzuki
Creators: Shigeyoshi Mine, Shinya Inoue, Tetsuro Nakagawa, K˘han Kawauchi
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/23/1999
Original Release Date: 01/01/1966
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1966
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 22min
Screens: Black and White,Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

That BLUE suit!
Ted | 05/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Stylin' color, smooth story, catchy tune... and that blue suit with those white shoes! A thorough pleasure from start to finish. Also, fascinating interview with the director - gives a real insider view on the Japanese film studio business in the 50's."
Tokyo Drifter blew me away!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm film student whose made a habit of seeing EVERYTHING. And when i saw Tokyo Drifter, i didn't know what to expect but the visuals and crazy mise-en-scene blew me away. It's like a mixture of Jean-Luc Godard, Sam Fuller, Melville and James Bond. A film which is self conscious of its humor and its absurd plot. A true 60s art film, Godard without the Japan! And what more could you want, he sings!"
One of the most brilliantly edited films I have seen!
Lance Swanson | Santa Clara, CA United States | 07/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The only reason Seijun Suzuki's "Toky Drifter" is getting four stars instead of five is because the story gets hokey and hard to follow at times. But what a wallop the visual fireworks and rapid-fire, jump-cut editing pack! "Tokyo Drifter" is easy to understand after viewing it a few times, but initially the story takes a back seat to Suzuki's inventive, French-New-Wave style of creating the images, which are breathtaking. "Phoenix," a reformed killer for the Yakuza, dreamily walks around Tokyo after quitting the racket, expecting to be executed. But when he is called back into duty to help rid the city of a rival gang, the film "drifts" into a surreal mix of equal parts Luis Bunuel, Sam Fuller and Jean Luc Godard. The action never lets up, and the film is a wonderfully funny mix of comedy and violence. The performers even break out into song at unexpected times, although the film is certainly not a musical. You just never know what to expect, which is what makes this little-seen film so much fun. "Tokyo Drifter" is unlike any film you have ever seen. It's a true original and Criterion presents it in a widescreen version that is terrific. Contains a rare, insightful interview with Japanese director Seijun Suzuki. In Japanese with English subtitles."
Yoshi | Madtown, WI | 08/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A stylish gangsta piece of work by the great late Seijun Suzuki. If you've watched Kurosawa or Ozu then this is much different. More comparable to Kinju Fukasaki(BATTLE ROYALE). Not as good as BRANDED TO KILL but a fine Criterion piece none the less. A lonely soul gets pulled back into one last score to settle. Visually masterful and the score is brilliant. A little slow at times but the action is pretty much non stop throughout. Plus a big payoff at the end. I know you will be amazed with what you see. Quentin Tarantino may not admit this is one of his inspirations for RESOVOIR DOGS, but when you have the blue room, red room, white room, etc, it's hard not to believe there's some sort of connection there between Mr. White, Blond etc. A must see film if you're a lover of art and crime noir. One of Seijun's top 5 films."