Sam Fuller In Japan: “House of Bamboo”

Harry Kleiner‘s screenplay for the Samuel Fuller film, House of Bamboo (1955), consists of too many coincidences for the plot to hold up well, but it’s interesting to see American gangsters in Tokyo (post-WWII).  What they’re doing is robbing U.S. ammunition trains, and since the trains are guarded by American soldiers and Japanese policemen, I don’t know why the crooks are so successful.  But they are, and so it’s time for military law enforcement to get really active.  They send a man’s man named Eddie (Robert Stack) to infiltrate the gang, and Eddie’s Japanese lady friend, Mariko (Shirley Yamaguchi), ends up helping in a big way.  At one point we fully expect Mariko to be killed or at least beaten to a pulp, but it doesn’t happen. . . Now that Americans are done fighting the Japanese, they’re having to fight other Americans—hoodlums.

The main hoodlum, Sandy, is enacted with smooth potency by Robert Ryan.  He adds to the high entertainment value of this unique thriller.

 

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