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  • House of Bamboo

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on May 31st, 2005

    (out of 5)



    This remake of The Street With No Name shifts the scene from mid-40s US to mid-50s Japan. Robert Ryan heads up a ruthless gang of ex-GIs, and uses pachinko parlours as acover for his robberies. He recruits Robert Stack into his gang, little suspecting that Stack is, infact, an undercover investigator.

    Samuel Fuller’s reworking plays up the homoerotic undercurrent (which Richard Widmarknonetheless conveyed quite effectively in the original), and Robert Stack i… an unusually thuggishprotagonist, though he undergoes considerable softening in his relationship with ShirleyYamaguchi. This relationship, absent in the original, allows Fuller to flesh out the clash ofcultures: think of this as Lost in Translation with guns.


    The audio is in 4.0, but the result isn’t very different from mono. The surround elements arelittle to none, though the main theme does have a bit of rear speaker presence. One can’t expectmiracles from a 1955 track, however. The dialogue sometimes fluctuates a bit in volume, butis always clear and undistorted.


    There is a slight flicker in colour quality every time there is a transition. Otherwise, thepicture is very good. The image is sharp, and there is very little grain or damage. This is a verynice-looking print. The aspect ratio is the original 2.55:1 anamorphic widescreen.

    Special Features

    Once again, James Ursini and Alain Silver handle the commentary, and do a fine job, makingsure to show how House of Bamboo bounces off the original. There are two silent bitsof Movitone News footage, the theatrical trailer, and the Spanish trailer (plus trailers for moreFox releases). The menu is basic.

    Closing Thoughts

    I really like the idea of pairing this release with the original. The result is some fascinatingfilm viewing for cinema buffs.

    Special Features List

    • Audio Commentary
    • Movietone Newsreels
    • Theatrical Trailers
    Posted In: Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 4.0 (English), Dolby Digital Mono (French), Dolby Digital Mono (Spanish), DVD, Film Noir, Fox, Suspense / Thriller

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