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Youth of the Beast

1963 1h 32m Action Crime Drama Mystery & Thriller List
86% Tomatometer 7 Reviews 90% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
A violent thug plays yakuza bosses against each other. Read More Read Less

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Youth of the Beast

Prime Video

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Critics Reviews

View All (7) Critics Reviews
Daniel Barnes Dare Daniel A vision of crime and corruption as a grand and incurable sickness. Rated: 4.5/5 Mar 25, 2020 Full Review Josh Slater-Williams The Skinny Colour takes precedence over coherence, and madcap humour and tangents intrude on a stock narrative the director palpably doesn't care that much about. Rated: 4/5 Nov 5, 2014 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion Suzuki can compose a beautiful image, but does so strictly to scald it Jun 2, 2010 Full Review Michael W. Phillips, Jr. Goatdog's Movies Rated: 4/5 Feb 29, 2008 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 3/5 Aug 12, 2005 Full Review Mark Robison Reno Gazette-Journal Cool but superficial and disjointed. Rated: B- Jan 17, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (97) audience reviews
Christopher B "Youth of the Beast" is another highly entertaining and fun Seijun Suzuki film filled with action, violence, humor and just plain style! This is just a flat out fun film to watch as there is always something going on and some really cool set pieces that are a load of film to watch unfold. Jo Shishido and his cheeks star as an ex-cop who is out for revenge against the yakuza who in the past killed his partner. While the story itself is nothing new or inventive, it's the style and mood of the film that really sets it apart and makes it worth watching and makes it so damn enjoyable to view! If you like Japanese films, especially any of Criterion's releases such as the Nikkatsu Noir Eclipse set, Branded to Kill or Tokyo Drifter this is another great release to check out! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 12/07/22 Full Review Audience Member Well, based on the high standards set by other japanese classics this mid-era yakuza flic by Suzuki seems to be a bit too unpolished, macho and constructed. It’s fun watching it anyways if you can forgive some illogicalities. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 04/15/19 Full Review dave j A man gets out of prison and he immediately joins gangsters. And as the movie is processing his objective was to find out who had murdered a former friend who financially helped his wife while he was incarcerated. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Jo Shishido and Seijun Suzuki are in top form in this full tilt Japanese pulp noir classic. The scenes are beautifully framed and tracked, punctuated by mesmerising splashes of colour; while the dialogue translates across without the cheesiness of some of Suzuki's other films. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review jack c I think one of the aspects of Youth of the Beast, the late genre-filmmaker master Seijun Suzuki's breakthrough, to take into account is that the story moves at a breathless pace. It's not that it is a story that is hard to follow - there are a good many characters to get to know, and after a black and white prologue (though at first I wasn't sure if it was a 'show-end-at-beginning' thing before going into full color for the majority of the film), we're put right into the physical space of this seemingly violent thug played by Jô Shishido (also named Jo here, good call) - it's that Suzuki, I think, is not so much interested in the story as in how a film MOVES. After all, it is a movie, right? Let's get that motion picture moving and vibrant and with energy. This is like a shotgun blast of 60's crime cinema that makes us feel a lot of things through a lot of intense visual choreography of the frame and what is in it (i.e. the old Scorsese axiom, cinema being a matter of what's in the frame and what's out, is paramount to Suzuki)/ Youth of the Beast is not necessarily the most remarkable film as far as the story goes, and I'm sure there have been other Yakuza films and other gangster thrillers that have similarities; in a sense this isn't unlike Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars/Red Harvest, though this time the main character has more of a motive than in that story. What's remarkable is the direction and how the tone is brutal and yet it's staged in some creative ways. There's times when you know a character is about to lunge at someone else, or that we get a piece of visual information like a knife being held under a table or somewhere else, before that character lunges and strikes. Other times it's more about how he'll pan the camera, like when the car full of the one crime family gets ambushed by another car (the music cue here is especially, terribly exhilarating, and the rest of the score has a wonderful jazz rhythm to it), and when we see those faces of the guys with their masks on and how he pushes in. Hell, even just how Suzuki uses color cinematography is impressive, all of those reds (the woman being whipped on the carpet), and how he'll have a backdrop like at the movie theater where the Yakuza do some of their business and a film screen projecting some movie or other is in the background of the frame. It feels like one of those moments where post-modernism is creeping in to Japanese cinema, and of course Suzuki would continue making such advances with Tokyo Drifter and particularly Branded to Kill. The movie is hard and rough, violent and the characters' motivations - well, I should say Jo, who is basically undercover playing one side and then another until it's an all-out war - are intense enough that the cast rises above what could be basic (even boiler-plate) B-movie pulp. I don't know how much input Suzuki had on the script, but he knows how to keep his actors moving and being interesting, whether it's Jo, who is the stand-out of the film, or his 'friend' who has a thing for the ladies. This is pulp Japanese cinematic excellence, all feeding off of a vision that is unique. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Another great choice for the Masters of Cinema collection. Brilliant storytelling and concise cinematography, editing and dialogue. Loved it. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Youth of the Beast

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis A violent thug plays yakuza bosses against each other.
Director
Seijun Suzuki
Producer
Keinosuke Kubo, Yoshio Muto
Screenwriter
Ichirô Ikeda, Tadaaki Yamazaki
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
Japanese
Release Date (DVD)
Jan 11, 2005
Runtime
1h 32m
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