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Rashomon / one sheet / 2009 re-release / USA

22.05.13

Poster Poster
Title
Rashomon
AKA
Rashômon (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1950
Director
Akira Kurosawa
Starring
Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijirô Ueda, Noriko Honma, Daisuke Katô
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijirô Ueda, Noriko Honma, Daisuke Katô,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2009
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Kent Williams
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa‘s 1950 masterpiece Rashomon is considered by many to be his crowning achievement, which is no mean feat when you consider it’s stacked against films as beloved as Seven Samurai (1954) and Yojimbo (1961). Considered incredibly influential and ground-breaking, particularly in terms of storytelling, cinematography and editing, the film has lost none of its impact in the 60+ years since its first release. The film is essentially an investigation into the truth behind a heinous crime in which a woman is raped and her samurai husband is slain at the end of a dagger, but it’s the way that Kurosawa stages the recollections of the four key eyewitnesses that makes Rashomon so special.

The film begins as three strangers shelter under the ruins of the eponymous gate during a calamitous thunderstorm. Two of the men, a woodcutter and a priest, were witnesses to events that happened in a nearby forrest three days earlier and they begin to recount what they saw to the commoner who’s eager to hear the details of the crime. Each of the recollections feature the husband and wife and a bandit named Tajômaru (Toshirô Mifune) but each of the witnesses recall the events that led to the death of the samurai in very different ways.

Kurosawa uses a number of editing techniques to differentiate the recollections for the viewer and apparently shot the same scene with several different cameras so he could cut to another angle of the same performances as he saw fit. Mifune, a frequent collaborator, deserves special mention for his memorable portrayal of the bandit Tajomaru in each of his different ‘guises’. In the end, the viewer is left to decide which of the witnesses they believe with the director resisting the urge to wrap things up neatly. As the commoner remarks when discussing the validity of one of the recollections: ‘We all want to forget something, so we tell stories. It’s easier that way.’

American artist Kent Williams painted this stunning portrait of Tajomaru that was commissioned by Janus Films for the 2009 cinema re-release of Rashomon. The release followed an extensive 2008 restoration undertaken by the Academy Archive, the National Film Center of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and Kadokawa Pictures. Born in 1962, Williams has lent his considerable talents to a wide range of artistic channels, including printmaking, photography, architecture and film. He is perhaps best known for his work on graphic novels for the likes of Marvel and Vertigo and in 2006 he collaborated with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky on a comic book tie-in for the sci-fi fantasy film The Fountain. His official website contains galleries of his work, as well as a biography, links to blogs and more.

Kent’s 2009 blog post announcing the completion of this piece can be viewed here and confirms that the original artwork was realised with oil and encaustic on linen mounted on wood panel with a distressed wooden beam. This same image was used for the must-own 2012 Criterion re-release of Rashomon and the poster was available to purchase via their web shop for a number of months, which is where I picked it up from. It sadly appears to be no longer available for purchase.

Seven Samurai / B1 / 1991 re-release / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Seven Samurai / one sheet / 1982 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

High And Low / one sheet / 1986 re-release / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
High And Low
AKA
Tengoku to jigoku (Japan - original title) | Heaven and Hell (English - literal title) | The Ransom (UK) | Anatomia Di Un Rapimento [Anatomy of a robbery] (Italy)
Year of Film
1963
Director
Akira Kurosawa
Starring
Toshirō Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyōko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Isao Kimura, Kenjiro Ishiyama, Takeshi Katō, Takashi Shimura, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Toshirō Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyōko Kagawa, Tatsuya Mihashi, Isao Kimura, Kenjiro Ishiyama, Takeshi Katō, Takashi Shimura, Tsutomu Yamazaki,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Bob Crow
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27 1/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Seven Samurai / quad / Academy Cinema / 1975 re-release / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

This poster was created by Peter Strausfeld who worked as the poster designer for the (now defunct) Academy Cinema One on Oxford Street, London. He created hundreds of posters during his career and was working on them up until his death in 1980. Peter was one of the few remaining poster designers to use the wood and linocut methods of printing, which meant all of his designs were unique and were created especially for the Academy One screening of the film. His posters are much loved by film fans and poster collectors for their striking, bold look.

Some more information on Peter here:

University of Brighton – faculty of arts (Peter was also a teacher at two Brighton colleges)

A BBC article

I’ve been able to identify the year of this poster as 1975 with thanks to Steve Moore, a friend and fellow collector, and a man called Pete Lawley who is currently (as of June 2018) writing a book about the Academy Cinema. Steve reached out to Pete and asked for help confirming the year and the author has identified several instances of the film being released at the cinemas, as follows:

18th February – 28th April 1955 – Pete has not seen a poster for this first UK release but assumes that the same, or similar artwork, was used.

13th May – 22nd December 1971 – This re-release was shown in Academy Three (effectively the third screen of the cinema) and no posters were apparently produced for this screen.

20th December 1973 – 20th February 1974 – This was shown in Academy Two and has the same artwork as this poster but has the text ‘First British Screen Presentation’ in place of the ‘For three weeks only…’ text, which is in relation to it being ‘The Complete Version’.

3rd July – 23rd July 1975 – Academy One – this poster.

31st January – 3rd March 1976 – Academy Two – Pete is unsure what poster was used for this but thinks it unlikely that they created another variant for it. More likely a snipe was used or they reused the one from 1974.

A Boss with the Samurai Spirit / B2 / Japan

30.06.11

Poster Poster
Title
A Boss with the Samurai Spirit
AKA
Kapone no shatei, yamato damashi (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Takashi Harada
Starring
Tomisaburo Wakayama, Minoru Oki, Willy Dorcey, Seizaburô Kawazu, Ryôsuke Kagawa, Kikue Môri
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Tomisaburo Wakayama, Minoru Oki, Willy Dorcey, Seizaburô Kawazu, Ryôsuke Kagawa, Kikue Môri,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

I’ve been unable to find out much about this film, other than this profile on IMDb, but it’s a really striking poster. It has a USA title so it must have been released outside of Japan at some point.

Invaders From Mars / B2 / artwork style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Invaders From Mars
AKA
--
Year of Film
1986
Director
Tobe Hooper
Starring
Karen Black, Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms, Laraine Newman, James Karen, Bud Cort
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Karen Black, Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms, Laraine Newman, James Karen, Bud Cort,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Faces
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Takashi Terada
Size (inches)
20 4/16" x 28 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Ichi the Killer / B2 / style A / Japan

08.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Ichi the Killer
AKA
Koroshiya 1 (Japan - English title - means 'Hitman')
Year of Film
2001
Director
Takashi Miike
Starring
Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ômori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ômori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kiyohiko Shibukawa,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2001
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters printed for the release of director Takashi Miike‘s controversial 2001 film Ichi the Killer. A notably prolific director, Miike released 6 other films in the same year as Ichi alone, although it would be this one that would gain the most international notoriety. Based on the manga series of the same name by Hideo Yamamoto, the film focuses on the machinations of rival yakuza gangs within a crime syndicate and their interaction with Ichi (Nao Ômori), a shy and seemingly meek loner with a very dark side.

The film begins with the supposed disappearance of the gang boss Anjo, who vanishes from his apartment with millions of Yen, much to the confusion of his men. The audience sees the bloody aftermath of the fate that Anjo suffered at the hands of Ichi but a clean up crew led by Jijii (Shin’ya Tsukamoto) returns his apartment to a spotless state before his henchmen, led by the sadistic Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano) arrives.

The hunt for Anjo begins and Kakihara wastes no time in kidnapping a rival gang leader, Suzuki (Susumu Terajima) and hangs him from meat hooks to try and get him to confess. When it becomes clear he’s got the wrong culprit, Kakihara is forced to apologise and then cuts off his own tongue as a punishment. After being kicked out of the syndicate, the gang continues to hunt for Anjo. The audience learns that Jijii has been psychologically manipulating Ichi for years and has trained him in preparation to be used as a kind of weapon against whoever he decides to target. Suzuki has offered Jijii a large sum of money to take out Kakihara and his gang in revenge for their earlier attack and they must hunt for Ichi before he can get to them first.

It’s fair to say that, in true Miike style, the film doesn’t shy away from violence and sadistic torture and there are some truly brutal sequences. It’s not hard to see why it attracted controversy and was even banned outright in a few countries soon after its release. Despite some very ropey CGI there are several scenes that still shock today and Miike uses editing and sound design to great effect.

This poster, which I’ve named ‘Style A’ features the standout character of Kakihara (here with the number 1 seen on the back of Ichi’s killer’s outfit projected onto his face). The other style also features Kakihara but in a very different situation.

Red Sun / B2 / cast style / Japan

14.08.13

Poster Poster
Title
Red Sun
AKA
Soleil rouge (France - original title)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Terence Young
Starring
Charles Bronson, Ursula Andress, Toshirô Mifune, Alain Delon, Capucine, Barta Barri, Guido Lollobrigida, Anthony Dawson
Origin of Film
France | Italy | Spain
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Ursula Andress, Toshirô Mifune, Alain Delon, Capucine, Barta Barri, Guido Lollobrigida, Anthony Dawson,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Cast style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1971
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

A truly international production, Red Sun was filmed in Spain by the British director Terence Young and starring American action legend Charles Bronson,the Japanese actor Toshirô Mifune (best known for Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai), French superstar Alain Delon and the gorgeous Swiss actress Ursula Andress. Terence Young had previously achieved great commercial success directing Sean Connery in three of his outings as James Bond. Bronson had previously starred in The Magnificent Seven, an American remake of Seven Samurai.

The film sees two ruthless robbers, Link (Bronson) and Gauche (Delon) attack a train bound for Washington carrying the Japanese ambassador. During the raid Gauche steals a very valuable sword and then betrays Link, trying to kill him before escaping with the loot. Link must team up with the only surviving Samurai escort of the ambassador (Mifune) and track down Gauche before it’s too late.

This Japanese B2 features photographic portraits of the main actors and is markedly different to the US poster.

 

The Fall of Ako Castle / B2 / Japan

23.07.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Fall of Ako Castle
AKA
Ako-Jo danzetsu (Japan - original title) | Last of the Ako Clan (International - literal title) | Swords of Vengeance (USA - video title)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Kinji Fukasaku
Starring
Sonny Chiba, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Tsunehiko Watase, Masaomi Kondo, Toshirô Mifune, Kyôko Enami, Kasho Nakamura, Shinsuke Mikimoto
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Sonny Chiba, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Tsunehiko Watase, Masaomi Kondo, Toshirô Mifune, Kyôko Enami, Kasho Nakamura, Shinsuke Mikimoto,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Fall of Ako Castle (AKA Swords of Vengeance) is the late director Kinji Fukasaku‘s take on the real historical event known as the Forty-seven Ronin, which took place in early 18th Century Japan. The tale of revenge focuses on a group of samurai who were left leaderless after their feudal lord is forced to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) after assaulting a court official. The ronin spend two years planning their revenge attack and once it is complete are forced to also commit seppuku for the act of murder. The story was popularised in Japanese culture as emblematic  of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that all good people should preserve in their daily lives.

The story has been brought to the cinema screen at least six times, with perhaps the most famous version being Chushingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki (1962), featuring Toshirō Mifune as one of the ronin, who would also go on to feature in Fukasaku’s version. Next year Keanu Reeves is set to star in 47 Ronin, a Hollywood version of the tale that sees him play a half Japanese half British character who joins the samurai in their quest for revenge.

Superstar actor and martial artist Sonny Chiba headlined Fukasaku’s version and is perhaps best known in the West for his role in 1974’s The Street Fighter, which firmly established him as a martial arts legend. Fukasaku had earlier directed several successful samurai period and yakuza films such as Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973) and the Japanese portion of 1970s Tora! Tora! Tora! His final film, Battle Royale (2000), is perhaps the one he is best known outside of Japan.

The film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

Red Sun / 30×40 / USA

16.04.12

Poster Poster
Title
Red Sun
AKA
Soleil rouge (France - original title)
Year of Film
1971
Director
Terence Young
Starring
Charles Bronson, Ursula Andress, Toshirô Mifune, Alain Delon, Capucine, Barta Barri, Guido Lollobrigida, Anthony Dawson
Origin of Film
France | Italy | Spain
Genre(s) of Film
Charles Bronson, Ursula Andress, Toshirô Mifune, Alain Delon, Capucine, Barta Barri, Guido Lollobrigida, Anthony Dawson,
Type of Poster
30x40
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1972
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
30" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
72/190
Tagline
The greatest fighting machine the West has ever known | The first East-meets-West Western!

A truly international production, Red Sun was filmed in Spain by the British director Terence Young and starring American action legend Charles Bronson,the Japanese actor Toshirô Mifune (best known for Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai), French superstar Alain Delon and the gorgeous Swiss actress Ursula Andress. Terence Young had previously seen great success directing Sean Connery in three of his outings as James Bond.

The film sees two ruthless robbers, Link (Bronson) and Gauche (Delon) who attack a train bound for Washington carrying the Japanese ambassador. During the raid Gauche steals a very valuable sword and then betrays Link, trying to kill him before escaping with the loot. Link must team up with the only surviving Samurai escort of the ambassador (Mifune) and track down Gauche before it’s too late.

Bronson had previously starred in The Magnificent Seven, an American remake of Seven Samurai. The main figures on this poster appear to be photographic and I’m uncertain who is responsible for the artwork above them.

1941 / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
1941
AKA
1941: allarme a Hollywood [Alert/Alarm at Hollywood] (Italy) | The Night the Japs Attacked (USA working title)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
John Belushi, Ned Beatty, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Stack, Warren Oates, Tim Matheson, Christopher Lee, Treat Williams, Slim Pickens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Belushi, Ned Beatty, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Stack, Warren Oates, Tim Matheson, Christopher Lee, Treat Williams, Slim Pickens,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
David McMacken
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

1941 / one sheet / Style D / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
1941
AKA
1941: allarme a Hollywood [Alert/Alarm at Hollywood] (Italy) | The Night the Japs Attacked (USA working title)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
John Belushi, Ned Beatty, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Stack, Warren Oates, Tim Matheson, Christopher Lee, Treat Williams, Slim Pickens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Belushi, Ned Beatty, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Stack, Warren Oates, Tim Matheson, Christopher Lee, Treat Williams, Slim Pickens,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Style D
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
David McMacken
Size (inches)
27 2/8" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A comedy spectacular!

1941 / one sheet / teaser / USA

18.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
1941
AKA
1941: allarme a Hollywood [Alert/Alarm at Hollywood] (Italy) | The Night the Japs Attacked (USA working title)
Year of Film
1979
Director
Steven Spielberg
Starring
John Belushi, Ned Beatty, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Stack, Warren Oates, Tim Matheson, Christopher Lee, Treat Williams, Slim Pickens
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Belushi, Ned Beatty, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Stack, Warren Oates, Tim Matheson, Christopher Lee, Treat Williams, Slim Pickens,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Teaser
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1979
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 41 1/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
WILD BILL WANTS YOU to see "1941" at your local theatre

The Challenge / one sheet / USA

20.03.15

Poster Poster
Title
The Challenge
AKA
Sword of the Ninja (US alt. title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
John Frankenheimer
Starring
Scott Glenn, Toshirô Mifune, Donna Kei Benz, Atsuo Nakamura, Calvin Jung, Clyde Kusatsu, Sab Shimono, Kiyoaki Nagai
Origin of Film
USA | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Scott Glenn, Toshirô Mifune, Donna Kei Benz, Atsuo Nakamura, Calvin Jung, Clyde Kusatsu, Sab Shimono, Kiyoaki Nagai,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
C. W. Taylor
Size (inches)
27" x 41"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
820127
Tagline
He has trained every thought, every muscle, every nerve, for this moment of truth. | One American against all odds.

Directed by John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Seconds) The Challenge is a 1982 action film that was an American/Japanese co-production and is largely set in the latter country. Scott Glenn stars as Rick Murphy, a down-and-out boxer who is hired to transport an ancient sword (one of a pair called ‘The Equals’) that had been stolen during WWII back into Japan and into the hands of a Hideo (Atsuo Nakamura), a member of the Yoshida family. On arrival in Japan, Murphy discovers that the sword is a fake and he’s inadvertently landed himself in the middle of a feud between the ruthless businessman Hideo and his more traditional Samurai brother Toru (Toshirô Mifune).

At first Murphy sides with Hideo and attempts to steal the real sword from Toru, but he soon realises which man is more honorable and eventually asks Toru to train him in swordsmanship and the ways of the samurai. Eventually he strikes up a relationship with Toru’s daughter Akiko but Hideo still wants the sword and will stop at nothing to steal it. Murphy must team up with Toru and his daughter and put his training to the test.

The film’s martial arts choreography was organised by non other than Steven Seagal six years before his own career in front of the camera began. The film was later released in the US in a cut-down form as Sword of the Ninja. Despite being something of a box-office and critical success The Challenge has never been released on DVD and is frustratinly hard to see at the moment. Fingers crossed for a HD release sometime in the future.

The artwork on this one sheet is by an American artist called C. Winston Taylor, about whom very little can be found online. The Lost Video Archive blog has a post on the artist that features images of some of his other posters and video covers. In the 1990s the artist was hired to paint the covers for a Quantum Leap comic book series and a gallery of those images can be viewed on this site, which also features three images of the artist himself. Comicbookdb.com features a small profile of Taylor with the following mini-biography:

C. Winston Taylor always knew from a young age that he would communicate through his drawings. Fighting in the jungles of Vietnam, where he earned two Bronze Stars, helped solidify this vision. After graduating with honors from the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles, he quickly became a well-respected illustrator. His work has received numerous awards and he served as the president of The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. 

The other posters I’ve collected with artwork by C.W. Taylor can be seen by clicking here.

Paper Tiger / B2 / Japan

06.10.16

Poster Poster
Title
Paper Tiger
AKA
--
Year of Film
1975
Director
Ken Annakin
Starring
David Niven, Toshirô Mifune, Hardy Krüger, Kazuhito Ando, Irene Tsu, Ivan Desny, Miiko Taka, Jeff Corey, Patricia Donahue, Ronald Fraser
Origin of Film
UK
Genre(s) of Film
David Niven, Toshirô Mifune, Hardy Krüger, Kazuhito Ando, Irene Tsu, Ivan Desny, Miiko Taka, Jeff Corey, Patricia Donahue, Ronald Fraser,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1975
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese poster for the release of the 1975 British film, Paper Tiger. The film was directed by Ken Annakin, who’s best know for helming the 1965 war film Battle of the Bulge and some live-action Disney films during the 1970s. The cast featured two acting legends in David Niven (The Pink Panther, The Guns of Navarone) and Toshirô Mifune (multiple Akira Kurosawa classics, including The Seven Samurai). Niven stars as ‘Major’ Walter Bradbury, a seemingly well-educated, ex-military man who has been invited to Malaysia to tutor the son of the Japanese ambassador (Mifune) called Koichi (Ando in his only film role).

Bradbury begins teaching the boy and regales him with tales of derring-do from his time serving during World War II, with the pair becoming fast friends. Unfortunately a group of political terrorists swipe the pair and intend to use them as a bargaining chip in the release of a group of prisoners who have been held for months by the government. The pair must try to stay alive and alert the ambassador to their location. The truth about Bradbury’s life becomes clear but he is given the chance to live up to his fabricated legend. The film takes a while to get going but the use of outdoor locations keeps things interesting and it goes out with a bit of a bang. Niven is eminently watchable although it’s not hard to see why Ando never acted again. Frustratingly, Mifune is given little do and spends a lot of the film standing next to a desk.

The trailer can be viewed here.