Gokudo (1968)

Countries - Japan  |  
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Kosaku Yamashita directed the first film in this long-running crime series which spawned 10 sequels. Shimamura (Tomisaburo Wakayama) is a street thug who eagerly joins the Gokudo -- a euphemism for the Yakuza -- with ambitions of controlling the Osaka vice racket. A vicious hoodlum willing to betray and brutalize anyone in order to achieve power, Shimamura is here far from the lovable rogue he later became. Koji Tsuruta, Bunta Sugawara, and Minoru Ooki co-star in this well-made thriller. Yamashita returned with Kaettekita Gokudo the same year.