aka:The Hoodlum Soldier
Director: Yasuz˘ Masumura
Cast: Shintar˘ Katsu, Takahiro Tamura, Eiko Taki
The Hoodlum Soldier (兵隊やくざ Heitai Yakuza?) is a Japanese film directed by Yasuzo Masumura. The Hoodlum Soldier was the first of a series of nine films that followed two soldiers, Kisaburo Omiya (Shintaro Katsu), a former yakuza who has become a soldier, and Arita (Takahiro Tamura), an intellectual from a good family who has deliberately failed the officer examination.
Based on a novel by Yorichika Arima and the first in a nine-part series (eight from 1965 to 1968 and a final film released in 1972), Heitai Yakuza has elements of a typical service comedy, Japan division, including all-in brawls featuring star Shintaro Katsu, that made the film a crowd-pleasing hit. But scriptwriter Ryuzo Kikushima and director Yasuzo Masumura also incorporated a penetrating critique of the Imperial Army in wartime, especially the tyranny of the stronger over the weaker - and the brutal punishments meted out to those who deviated from the norm (or even those who didn't).
1965 BLK/WHT Anamorphic Widescreen 103 Min.
Japanese with Optional English Subtitles.