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Wolves, Pigs and Men

Directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Film Movement Classics
1964
95 Minutes
Japan
Japanese
Action, Crime, Asian, Classics
Not Rated

Three brothers, Kuroki, Jirō, and Sabu, find themselves pitted against each other as rivals in the underground world of the Yakuza. Jirō, alongside his girlfriend Mizuhara, plots to rob Sabu and his gang, stealing 20 million yen. However, when Kuroki learns of Jirō’s scheme, he journeys to track down his brothers and take the money for his own rival gang.

A "ferocious, dynamic yakuza thriller" (Los Angeles Times) directed by Kinji Fukasaku, (Battle Royale, Violent Panic: The Big Crash) Wolves, Pigs and Men captures the darkness and brutality of the criminal underworld. With elements of French New Wave, film noir, and music by Isao Tomita, Wolves, Pigs and Men is a gritty, uncompromising work that established Fukasaku as a master of the Yakuza genre.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Kinji Fukasaku
  • Starring: Ken Takakura
  • Starring: Rentarô Mikuni
  • Starring: Kin'ya Kitaôji

Where to Watch

Trailer

Photos

Reviews

  • "Wolves, Pigs and Men, which pitted three slum-dwelling gangster brothers against one another, established Fukasaku's pattern for contemporary action and crime dramas inspired by the French New Wave and American noir, featuring realistic portrayals of violence and often set in chaotic, working-class milieux."
    Jasper Sharp, Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema
  • "Fukusaku's sixth film, Wolves, Pigs and Men broke the mold by taking the best elements from his earlier films and adding a biting commentary on the social problems endemic to Japan's transition from postwar defeated nation to economic powerhouse."
    Marc Walkow, Critics Roundup
  • "[F]erocious, dynamic yakuza thriller in which Rentaro Mikuni, then as now one of the Japanese cinema’s most distinguished actors, plays a sleek gangster who has risen from a shantytown to the big time. "
    Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
  • "[O]ne of the best movies Kinji Fukasaku made, a film with genuine tension, drama, and emotional power."
    JapanonFilm
  • "[A]n explosive, nihilistic tale which qualifies as a rough-hewn, early masterpiece."
    Cinema Sojourns
  • "Weighing cold hard yen against filial bonds, no holds are barred as the three brothers rip up the streets to Isao Tomita’s amazing jazz/surf-rock hybrid soundtrack. Shot on the real-life mean streets of Japan’s slums, Fukasaku’s blood-soaked yakuza debut mixes social criticism, American noir, French New Wave influences, and hard men with a penchant for violence."
    Film at Lincoln Center