Tokyo Drifter (1966) - full transcript

Tetsu has joined his yakuza boss in going straight, but when a rival gang threatens to bring them back into the gang wars, Tetsu must become a drifter to keep the pressure off his old boss.


If you're gonna kill me,
get it over with.

Tetsu, why don't you fight?

Surely you've got
that cute little Colt in your pocket.

What's wrong?

You're breaking
the Kurata gang's heart.

I'm not a yakuza anymore.
The boss disbanded our syndicate.

I do whatever old man Kurata says.
That's my code.

Is that right?

I'll have to frisk you to be sure.

Boss, it seems
Tetsu's really gone soft.

You're wrong.

He just didn't want to work for me.

Said he's gone straight.

He should still fight.

Just watch.
He'll explode any minute.

Knock him down three times,
then he'll rage like a hurricane.

He's about to explode.
I'm sure of it.

He didn't fight back?

He won't be much help
to Kurata anymore.

I see.
So we can do anything we want.

I'll ask you once more,

for the third and last time:

Don't get me mad.



Cinematography by

Production Design by TAKEO KIMURA

Music by

Theme Song Performed by







Directed by

The Kurata Building, eh?

With a property like that,
no wonder Kurata can go straight.

Boss, let's take it quick.

Tetsu won't lift a finger now.

It's collateral for what
Kurata owes Yoshii Trading.

So we can take it legally.

Yoshii lent Kurata the money
to buy that nightclub.

He went into debt to go legit.

Nice-looking girl.
- Chiharu, their singer.

Word is she's in love with Tetsu.



Mr. Kurata's on the phone, sir.

Calculate that interest once more.

Mr. Kurata? Yoshii here.

Your promissory note comes due
on the 15th, three days from now.

Don't worry.
We have a gentleman's agreement.

It's me.

Send Kumamoto over.

And I haven't seen Tetsu.
Is he there?

So three million's all we can raise?

In the next few days, yes.

What about Kotaki?

Everyone scattered
when you dissolved the syndicate.

They've turned their backs on us.

They don't want to offend
the Otsuka Group.

I guess that's life.


Yoshii gets the Kurata Building
if the note's not paid.

What about it?
Shall I rough him up a bit?

we aren't yakuza anymore.

Don't forget that.

Just do your job
as manager of Club Arles.

That won't make us any money.

Then mortgage the club.

Ah, Tetsu, I heard
you ran into some trouble.

Yeah, Otsuka's bastards
are out and about.

- Did you fight them?
- They tried to make me.

Wanted to see
if we'd really gone legit.

They were testing me.

I'm glad you held back.

You're doing the same.
It's the least I could do.

What about it, boss?

Shall I go see Yoshii?

We'll pay three million in cash

and the rest in promissory notes
of one million each.

Fine, if he agrees.

But don't rough him up.

We may have no choice.

Where did Tetsu go?

Three million?
That's the best you can do?

If I agree to wait,

when do I get the other five million?

Over five months.

Five months?

- A million a month.
- And if you can't?

- Then you can take my life.
- Your life?

You're that devoted to Kurata?

We're like father and son.

I don't work for people I don't like.

You gonna raid my office
if I say I won't wait?

Please don't insult us.

We may have been yakuza,

but Mr. Kurata and I
are respectable now.

Tetsu, did Kurata
ask you to come see me?

I came on my own.


Very well. I'll wait.


I respect your loyalty.

Tell Mr. Kurata I'll accept the notes.

We'll calculate the interest then.

For the remaining five million,
bring five notes

of one million each.

I guess you never know till you try.


Tetsu really went to see Yoshii?

He doesn't know about us.

He got all humble
and asked to renew the notes.

I see. When's the handover?

Kurata's to see him tomorrow at 3:00.

This is getting interesting.

If this pans out, I'll set you up good.

- You'll marry me?
- Of course.

I'm lost without a woman around.

What's wrong?

Watching you fuss over me like this

makes me both happy and sad.
It's a strange feeling.

You did a fine job today.

Let's go to Ginza later.

That's okay.

I'm happy just being here like this.

Not a selfish bone in you, as usual.

You should marry Chiharu soon
and open a club.

I'm through with women.

Chiharu won't let you go.

Where is that drifter

Always wandering, always alone

Ask the wind where he'll be tomorrow

Or the pretty girl on whose breast

He rested his head

He's the Tokyo drifter

Setting out, drifting on and on

Till all memories of Tokyo are gone

Sir, we're not open yet.

How about you keep singing?

Don't want to?

Mr. Otsuka...

please stop kidding around.

Head for the boss's place.

Where are you going?


Shall we go?


Come up for some tea?


Good night.

Mr. Kurata's appointment is at 3:00?

- Yes.
- Get him on the phone for me.

Mr. Yoshii's office.

It's Tetsu from Mr. Kurata's office.

Hello. Yoshii here.

This is Tetsu. Thanks again
for our talk the other day.

Don't mention it. You'll be paying
the three million today?

Three million?

We'll be paying
the eight million in full.

Glad to hear it.

You'll bring it over, right?

What? Bring it over?

You'll have to come here!

I can't do that.

You'll find some reason to delay
and then beat me up.

I can't take chances just because
you say you've disbanded.

Mr. Yoshii, I'm putting my life
on the line. Can't you trust me?

I guess you're right.

I'll prepare the papers
and pay you a visit.

Very good.
I'll send a car for you.

You're good at this!


Yoshii speaking.

Is this Yoshii Trading?
Is Mutsuko there?

For you.

Hello. What's that?

Where are you?

That close by? Yes.

Mind if I step out for a moment, boss?

- Who was that?
- My boyfriend.

Is this seal all right?

Yeah. Put it in with the rest.

A call from Mr. Yoshii's office, sir.

I'll take it in here.

Kurata here.

Yes, I was just leaving.

Mr. Yoshii's been delayed.
Please come at 4:00 instead.

You'll wait here?

Yes. The office is in there.

That's news to me.

Mr. Otsuka!

Thanks for coming.

Kurata asked me to do him a favor

and take over what he owes you.

But he didn't say anything
to me about...

He told you by phone that he'd pay.

But I heard nothing
about your taking over the debt.

Excuse me.

Tatsu, don't be so rough.

Mr. Yoshii,
I'll deal with the consequences.

It's for your own good.
Take the money.

Kurata could sell
that building for 200 million!

Why would he give you the deed?

Tatsu, turn on the music.

Your seal.

Come on.
You're getting your money.

Hurry up!

The deed to the building.
And put the money away.

Kurata will kill me!

Don't worry.

If you're that concerned,
I'll talk to him.

Tanaka, get him on the phone.


What's that?
Tanaka of the Otsuka Group?


Mr. Yoshii's here right now,

asking our boss to pay your debt.

You listening?

Don't pretend you didn't hear.

Yeah, that's right.

Don't worry.
Everything's going just fine.


What is it?

Boss, Otsuka's tricked us.

What's going on?

Otsuka could take the building
for eight million!

You know the joint
where Kazuo Sassa sings?

Now get out.


Where'd you take Yoshii?

He left with the money
I put up for you.

So you want my building.

You catch on quick.

It was someone else's before.

If I'd been a little more aggressive,
it would've been mine.

What's that?

Your menacing tone tells me
you're still a yakuza.

That's more like you.

Mr. Kurata,
we have the deed to your building.

Hand over your seal.

I paid Yoshii eight million
on your behalf.

You call yourself a yakuza?

Money and power rule now.
Honor means nothing!

Hand over your seal!

- What's this?
- Tetsu's jacket. Now get your seal.

Where's Tetsu?

What have you done with Tetsu?
- Your seal!

Do as you're told.
Hand over your seal.


Son of a bitch!

You killed my girl!


Seal the contract
and I'll take care of the girl.

Or I can just call the cops.

Kurata! Which will it be?



Sorry for that interruption...

Mr. Otsuka...

why not report

Yoshii's murder too?

I've got a gun on you.

Get up against the wall.

You've got the gun
that killed Yoshii in your pocket.

Tatsu, that's enough for today.

You keep the deed for the time being.



Otsuka made it look
like Mutsuko killed Yoshii.

The cops are sure to find my gun.

The issue here is Otsuka.
If he just keeps quiet...

No, he can't be trusted.

But we know he killed Yoshii.

If he tries anything...

It's my building he's after.

What's he gonna try next?

I really screwed up by killing the girl.

Should we get Tetsu
to take care of this?

Let's kill him.
With Tetsu out of the picture,

Kurata can't do a thing.

You gonna do it?

They call me Tatsu the Viper.

I'm tenacious like a snake.

Setting out, drifting on and on

Till all memories of Tokyo are gone



Don't do anything dangerous.

I'm legit now.

Binko, look after Chiharu.

Damn it! Where'd he go?

If I'm to die, I'll die like a man

I'll even let love pass me by

In the name of duty

I'm the Tokyo drifter

The wind blows on its own

The moon shines all by itself

And I'm a drifter who walks alone

I know not where my grave will be

I'm the Tokyo drifter

Tatsu, drop the gun.

Now back away.


I've got something for you.
Turn around.

I'd really like to kill you.

If it hadn't been for you guys,

Mr. Kurata and I could have gone legit.

Tell Otsuka this:

I, Tetsu the Phoenix,
killed Yoshii's secretary.

So much as mention my boss's name

and I'll tell the cops
Otsuka killed Yoshii. Got that?

I'm sorry.

Idiot! You blew it!

I'm back, boss.

What's up?

Well, was he there?

That Kenji's a real bastard.

He not only disobeyed you,
he joined a Kurata ally.

A Kurata ally? Who?

Some guy named Umetani.
Runs the Western Saloon in Sasebo.

Tatsu, you're sure Tetsu said
he'd take the rap for Kurata?


All right.

Then we'll just have
to steamroller them.

You really gonna do it?

Kurata and I have to have
a showdown.

It'll be easy to lick him.

He disbanded his gang.
It won't be easy to get his men back.

- When do we do it?
- Tonight.

You can get revenge
for Mutsuko as well.

I'll rip Kurata and Tetsu's
damn guts out.

Get the men together.

Boss, there's trouble!

The Tamura gang's helping Kurata!

- Tamura?
- How do you know?

I saw Tetsu and Tamura together
at the Kurata Building.

This is bad, boss.

If Tamura joins the fray,
it'll be dangerous.

Tetsu must've asked Tamura for help.

Boss, I don't care
who's helping them...

Settle down!

Fujimura, what would you do?

The problem here is Tetsu.

Boss, let me have a go at him.

I'll run him out of Tokyo.

Think you can?

Just watch me.

Otsuka says he'll give up the building
if we hand over Tetsu?


In this case,

Tetsu is the thorn
in everyone's side.

How dare you!

Tell Otsuka he and I are both
mixed up in Yoshii's murder.

But I won't sacrifice my man
just to weasel out of this!

Now get out!


it's disobedient of me to leave...

but please let me go.

Did Kumamoto say something?

No, this is my own idea.

Things will only get worse if I stay.

It'll be trouble for Tamura too.

Please say yes.

I should have left earlier,

but I was worried about you.

I appreciate that, Tetsu.

Then I can go?

Take care of yourself.

You too, sir.


And don't worry.

No matter how far I wander,
I'll still be in Japan.

They'll call me
"homeless Tetsu from Tokyo."

I see.

Homeless Tetsu from Tokyo?

Take this.

I don't need it.

Don't be stupid.
You'll need money wherever you go.

It'd break my heart
if you got stranded.

All right.

In that case, thanks.

Well, then...

How about staying for dinner
and relaxing a bit?

I won't see you for a while.

It'll only make it harder to leave.

I see. So you're going now?
- Yes.

Good luck to you, sir.

Tetsu, wait!

Get Shimada in Shonai on the phone.

And bring paper
and an inkstone right away.


stay with Shimada in Shonai.

I won't have you struggling
your first time out on the road.

I'll speak with him.

Come sit down.

I have to write
a letter of introduction.

- The call will come through here.
- Good.

It's from Shonai.


That was too fast!

Hang up! I'll call him back.

What is it?


Take good care of yourself.

You should see Chiharu
before you go.


Is that you, Tetsu?
Where are you?


Hold on. I'll get Chiharu.

Nice hair dryer. What's it called?

It's a Charm Lady.
You can borrow it.


Chiharu, phone.

Hello? Hello?

Raindrops of sadness

Drip from my fingertips

Gently I press my hand

To my wounded heart

We burned with passion that night,
sharing quivering kisses

On the pavement moist with rain

Blue night, blue night

Blue night in Akasaka




Detective Sakai. Come with me.

I'm Senzo of the Southern Group.
This way.

We've been waiting for you.

For me?

With you here,
we can beat the Northern Group.

They giving you trouble?

Yeah, we have to fight them
over new territory.

This is no place for me.
I'm trying to stay out of trouble.

How come it always finds me?

Tetsu, don't feel obliged to help us.

But Takahashi, head of
the Northern Group, is an Otsuka ally.


Some men from Tokyo
are coming to help them.

No help is on the way today?

If Takahashi finds out you're here,
they could come any minute.

- Boss!
- Keep it down. We have a guest.


the boss asked me
to take you to a hotel.

Anyway, I'm sure we can
manage without help.

This way, please.

I'm trying to go legit,
but can I just let these guys die?

We're counting on you, Tokyo man!

Where's Tetsu?
I'm Tanaka of the Otsuka Group.

Tetsu the Phoenix,
come out and fight like a man!

Stupid hicks!

Setting out, drifting on and on

Till all memories of Tokyo are gone

Don't cry for me, night rain

A man's life ends in bloody red

I'm the Tokyo drifter

It's Tetsu! Be ready for him!

My range is under 10 yards.

15 yards, 14, 13, 12... 10.

Why didn't you kill me?

For showing mercy like that...

you deserve to go to hell.

Your legend ends today.

Tetsu the Phoenix, huh?

He means it.

What should I do?

Tatsu, it's me!

Damn him and his singing!

- Over there!
- That way!

Son of a bitch!


You'll never kill Tetsu
if you're such cowards.

You've still got the safety on!

Shooting Star!

Don't call me that!

I used to be an Otsuka man,
but I'm a lone wolf now!

I'm not your buddy anymore!


sorry you had to see me like this.

To think you'd end up saving my life.

Forget it.
We're not enemies anymore.

People used to call you
Otsuka's Shooting Star.

Why'd you leave him?

It's easier being on my own.

Must be lonely.

You're on the road yourself.

You'll learn soon enough
how a drifter feels.

I didn't mean that.

You lost your sense of duty.

Is that such a bad thing?

It's hard to know
what's in people's hearts.

You'll pay dearly
if you trust Kurata too much.

I don't think so.

I don't like that look in your eyes.

Maybe I'm going soft with age,
but I'll stay till you're better.

Is it true you're working for Umetani,
Kurata's ally in Sasebo?

It's started to snow again.

He's gone...





Are you Tetsu the Phoenix?

Mr. Umetani.
You use the "Light Punch" hair dryer?

Hey, I'm not
that much older than you.

I'm Tetsu.

Kurata said you were coming.
I've been looking forward to it.

Have a seat.

What is it?
- Was Shooting Star here?

Yeah, he dropped by to thank me.

- He's here now?
- He's staying a while.

I see.

Sorry to trouble you, but I'll be going.

Why? Don't you two get along?

I can't stand a guy
with no sense of duty.

I thought he was old-fashioned,
but you're worse.

But maybe it's best

if you do leave.

Some troublemakers have shown up.

Come look.

There you have it.

The hoodlums doing that stupid dance
are from the Minato Group.

Probably here looking for you.

Time to hit the road again.

Let me handle it.

They're starting to piss me off.

I don't want to cause you trouble.

I'll just move on.

I'd be letting Kurata down
if I let you do that.

Knock it off!

Stop them!

You're much better than
French, English, or American guys.



I don't wanna fight you, Kenji.

Once he's dead, my work's done.

Look. Tetsu's not moving.

Drop the gun.

You're no longer the Viper.

Is he dead?


Even the death of a killer
gets me down.

Poor guy was bound
by his sense of duty to Otsuka.


you've got the same look in your eyes
as when I saw you last time.

Kenji, I owe you my life,

but I hate guys with no sense of duty.

You two should try to get along.

I actually like him.

That's why I want to spare him
the pain of betrayal.

I understand.
But Kurata can be trusted.


What kind of compromise?

Otsuka hasn't lost a cent
on that building!

But he killed Yoshii.

They're proposing this, so I'm sure
Otsuka's given it a lot of thought.

Can I be sure it isn't a trap?

Let's just go see him.
If we don't like it, we can refuse.

All right.

Let's give it a try.


Rub out Tetsu?
Why would I do that?

I got word from the Minato Group.

It seems Umetani's hiding him.

So what?

Umetani can rub him out for you.

With Tetsu out of the way,
we can make peace.

This isn't a bluff.

Give me your word
and you can have this.

Boss, ask him
about other conditions.

There are two other conditions.

You get the building,
but you lease it to me for 20 million.

- How will you pay?
- In cash.

The other condition?

I want that singer, Chiharu.

Chiharu? But she's Tetsu's!

That's why I want her.

Raindrops of sadness

Drip from my fingertips

Gently I press my hand...

Tetsu's dead.

Tetsu's dead!

I said he's dead!

He'll be dead soon anyway.
She'll give in.

Take this.

Tetsu's the thorn in both our sides.

If he's arrested,

it'll be like sparks in kindling.

We'll both be eating rotten prison food.

Boss, you've got to put
that fire out while it's still small.

Very well.

Western Saloon.


A call from Tokyo.

Hello. Umetani here.

Mr. Kurata?

Yes, Tetsu's fine.

What's that?

What are you saying?

Rub him out! You'll go down
in flames with us if you don't.

But Tetsu's...

Just rub him out!

I'll send some men.
Just make sure he's dead.

You got that?

Chiharu, he's back.

It's a real pity.

- It was Otsuka, wasn't it?
- We don't know.

It had to be!
Let's call the police!

Don't you understand?
Tetsu's dead!

That's enough now.

Go on bad-mouthing Mr. Kurata
and you'll pay.

I'm risking my life here.
You still don't believe me?

You're lying.

He's working with Otsuka to kill me?
Why should I believe that?

Don't shatter my dreams.
- Fine.

But you better scram.
Umetani might try to kill you.

That again?
I'm really gonna get mad!

Is that right?

What the hell?

See that?

Even Umetani's bound by yakuza ties.
He's gonna kill you.

You get it now?
- But...

Believe me now?

If not, then go back to Tokyo.
- I will.

I won't give up my ideals
until I see the truth myself.

I'll hold him off. Now go!




At first I really meant to kill him.

But then I wondered
who I'd be doing it for.

Someday I'll tell Tetsu how you feel.

He's a good guy.

But when a straight shooter
like him gets mad,

there's no stopping him.

He'll do what he has to do.

I hate to see it happen...

but he has to go through it
sooner or later.


She's too devoted to him.
You can't make her sing.

I'll make her sing, all right.

You gotta train 'em well
from the start.

What the hell are you doing?


Boss, you let Tetsu die,
and now you're with Otsuka?

What are you going to do to Chiharu?

Chiharu, let's go!
I'll take you home!

Sing or he dies.

Raindrops of sadness

Drip from my fingertips

Quietly I watch

The city at night

The lights go out
in the Club Champs-?lys?es

Alone in the fog of a blue night

Blue night

Blue night in Akasaka

Boss, you double-crossed me.


Get the rest of my men!

I'm through!

If I don't bust out of this hell,
I'll have no future.

Tetsu, drop the gun!

So now we see your true colors?

This is how it has to be.
I need you dead.

I guess I've got no choice, boss.

Let this gun be a memento
of Tetsu the Phoenix.

I want you to have it.

My oath of loyalty ends today.

A drifter doesn't need a woman.


I can't walk with a woman at my side.

If a flower gives up its dream

The flower withers and the dream dies

If I'm to die

I'll die like a man

I'll even let love pass me by
in the name of duty

I'm the Tokyo drifter