The movie "Yakuza," and the sword play...

billc

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I was thinking about the movie "Yakuza," with Robert Mitchum and it occurred to me that the sword fight at the end of the movie was, from what I remember, very good. There wasn't a lot of "clanging," and there was actual tension, rather than spastic action. For those who may have seen the movie and are fans of swordsmanship, wether Japanese or "other," what do you think of the movie, and the fighting? It has been a long time since I saw the movie, but the fight in the gambling house seemed to be quite good. How about the portrayal of the "yakuza," in the movie, accurate or hollywood?
 

Chris Parker

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Do you mean this scene, Bill?


There are certainly a number of Hollywood elements, but it's not too fanciful. The way Hollywood come out here is mainly in the distancing, and how big a number of the actions are, as well as some more "posing" shots here and there. With the group of Yakuza surrounding the hero Japanese cop, there were some questionable grips and weapon choices (it looked like the various actors just picked up something from a range of prop weapons, without any real concern for who had what, or how they would use them), but there's certainly been a lot worse.

For the record, actual swordsmanship is primarily evasive cutting... clanging blades is something to avoid, when it comes down to it. That said, it's not so much about preserving your blade as some think, and if you have to to survive, well, you damn well do it! But it's not the best plan.
 
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Dirty Dog

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I'm going to have to hunt down a copy of the movie and watch it, since my memories of 1974 are not clear enough to rely on. :)
 
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billc

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Yeah, that's the one. It was as good as I thought it was when I saw it years ago. The whole scene is great. I remember that the actor who played Takagi from Die Hard is in it as well as the building from the later made "The Challenge," with Toshiro Mifune and Scott Glen, another favorite of mine.
 

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