Criminal investigation -- Japan -- Drama, Gangsters -- Japan -- Drama

House of Bamboo

Archival 35mm Print


Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Shirley Yamaguchi,

Fuller combines two favorite topics, crime and GIs, with this gangster film involving crooked ex-soldiers organizing a syndicate in occupied Japan. Surly military cop Robert Stack goes undercover to infiltrate the cartel, led by the suavely psychotic Robert Ryan, and falls for the Japanese widow of a slain gangster. In the first postwar Hollywood film shot in Japan, astonishing CinemaScope images of Tokyo street life illuminate the backdrop of a new war, one between violent mobsters and vicious cops, with both sides displaying amazing lows in Ugly Americanism. The narrative quickly eliminates any moral ascendancy of cops over robbers, as generalized American thuggery runs riot amid a landscape of racial and cultural difference. “The police are much more violent and disagreeable than the criminals,” Fuller explained, a point proved in the infamous ending, a blazing gunfight set in, of all places, a children’s amusement park.

Jason Sanders
  • Samuel Fuller
  • Harry Kleiner
  • Joseph MacDonald
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 102 mins
  • George Eastman Museum
  • 20th Century Studios/Criterion Pictures

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Samuel Fuller (program note), Institut Valencià de l'Audiovisual i de Cinematografia Ricardo Muñoz Suay, Quim Casas, 2010

On DVD : Depraved, seamy, deranged : Film noir as it's meant to be (review), Los Angeles Times, Susan King, 2005

Pulp fictions: the films of Samuel Fuller (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, James Quandt, 1998

Un Americain en Normandie: le jour j de Samuel Fuller (press kit), GMT Productions, Noël Simsolo, 1994

House of bamboo (program note), Pacific Film Archive Calendar, 1978

Rivette in context (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England), 1977

House of bamboo (book excerpt), Edinburgh Film Festival, 1969

House of bamboo (article), Edinburgh Film Festival, Sam Rohdie, 1969

Excerpt from an interview with Sam Fuller (before he shot The naked kiss) (program note), 1969

House of bamboo (exhibitor manual), Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 1955

Displaying 10 of 13 publicly available documents.

View all House of Bamboo documentation on CineFiles.