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American Yakuza (1993)

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An American FBI agent is lured away by the Japanese Mafia--the Yakuza--in this action film.

Director:

Frank A. Cappello (as Frank Cappello)

Writers:

Takashige Ichise (story) (as Taka Ichise), Max Strom (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Nick Davis / David Brandt
Ryo Ishibashi ... Shuji Sawamoto
Michael Nouri ... Dino Campanela
Franklyn Ajaye ... Sam
Yuji Okumoto ... Kazuo
Anzu Lawson ... Yuko (as Cristina Lawson)
Robert Forster ... Littman
John Fujioka ... Isshin Tendo
Nicky Katt ... Vic
Jimmy Taenaka ... Taka (as James Katsuyuki Taenaka)
Saiko Isshiki Saiko Isshiki ... Aya
Fritz Mashimo Fritz Mashimo ... Okazaki
Jeff Bankert Jeff Bankert ... Medical Student
Rosine 'Ace' Hatem Rosine 'Ace' Hatem ... Agent #1
John Hammil John Hammil ... Agent #2
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Storyline

When Nick Davis leaves prison after one year in solitaire, he is hired to operate forklift in a warehouse in the harbor owned by the Japanese Yakuza patriarch Isshin Tendo. The place is assaulted by the Italian Mafia leaded by Dino Campanela and Nick rescues and saves the life of Shuji Sawamoto, who is the representative of Yakuza interests in America. Shuji hires Nick to work for Yakuza and becomes his godfather in the family after his oath to join Yakuza. However, Nick is a lonely FBI undercover agent assigned to penetrate in the criminal organization. When the FBI discovers that Campanela is organizing a massive attack to destroy the Yakuza, Nick's boss Littman calls off the operation to leave the dirty work to the Italian Mafia. But the connection of Nick with Shuji and his goddaughter Yuko forces him to help his Japanese family. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In America, they call it the Mafia... In Japan, they call it Yakuza... When they meet, they call it war! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1993 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

American yakuza See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the shot near the beginning of the inside of a time clock as someone clocks in, an enormous time clock was built by the director and shot in his garage. The paper inserted is about 2 feet wide, and it was shot sideways so that they could just let the heavy stamper drop rather than come up from the side to hit the paper. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) When the Japanese bodyguard fires the last bullet out of the Thompson machine gun, the scene cuts to a shot of the spent bullet casings hitting the ground. As the shells hit the ground, you can clearly see the that ends of the cartridges, where the bullet exits the shell have been crimped, indicating that these are spent blanks. Real spent bullet casings are smooth. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 18-rated German video version was cut for violence in many scenes. The TV-Version and the DVD-Release are also cut See more »

Connections

Followed by Back to Back (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Ever Lovin' River
Written by Shane Thornton
Performed by X-Piracy
Published © 1991 by Deadtime Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Above average b-grade action movie with a great cast!
14 June 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

'American Yakuza' rises above most of the other b-grade action movies that clog up the video shelves because of its outstanding cast. Viggo Mortensen, is now well on his way to being a major star thanks to Peter Jackson's Tolkien trilogy, but many of us have been following his career for quite some time, since Sean Penn's brilliant 'The Indian Runner' say. Mortensen is excellent as "Nick" an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates the Yakuza, and finds himself caught between his obligations and his loyalties, especially when a gang war with the Mob escalates. Ryo Ishbashi ('Audition') plays Sawamoto, the Yakuza who becomes Nick's friend and mentor, and Michael Nouri ('The Hidden') plays Sawamoto's Mafia rival Campanela. The rest of the cast includes comedian Franklyn Ajaye ('Carwash') as Nick's contact, Robert Forster ('Jackie Brown') as his boss, Nicky Katt ('The Limey') as Campanela's right hand man, and Yuji Okumoto ('Brain Smasher... A Love Story') as one of Sawamoto's crew. This is by no means the best crime thriller I've ever seen but thanks to the great cast I enjoyed watching it. Definitely worth a rental this one.


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