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BOTAN BAKUTO, RED PEONY GAMBLER, o LADY YAKUZA. 4 filmes, protagonizados por Sumiko Fuji

HIBOTAN BAKUTO, RED PEONY GAMBLER, o LADY YACUZA [Resumen único de la lista/serie de 4 filmes, protagonizados por Junko Sumiko [Sumiko Fuji]



Hibotan bakuto [Red Peony Gambler 1] (1968) 1h 38m

(DIRECTOR Kôsaku Yamashita)

IMDb/”Well made film that would go on to influence the Pinky”

The_Void | 20 Jul 2008

The Pinky Violence films would go on to become very popular in 1970’s Japan, and this film is often seen as something of a precursor to the genre; and it’s not really hard to see why, as although I wouldn’t call this a ‘full’ Pinky Violence film – it certainly shares a lot in common with the films that would go on to become very popular in the seventies. The main thing, of course, that ties this film to the Pinky Violence flicks is the female protagonist; a lady loner who goes around with a samurai sword and a pistol looking for revenge on those that killed her father. The film starts in a gambling hall and we watch as our heroine catches a man gambling. Naturally, he’s none to happy and after trying to jump her later on; she’s saved by a young male swordsman. She later gets in with a local gang who happen to be at war with another over territory. She requests an audience with the boss leader and demands that the two gangs stop warring. Her hunt for her father’s killer also continues, and it turns out that the killer may be closer home to than she first realised.

A major theme that the film relies on is the idea of its female protagonist being caught in a “man’s world” and insisting that she is, in fact, a man. As the genre moved on, the female leads would become more infallible and always superior to the men; but in this film, that’s not the case and indeed our heroine even relies on a bit of male help at times. The film is not as over the top, confusing or action packed as some of the later Pinky films and the plot follows a straight narrative that is easy to follow. Anyone going into this film expecting to see a hot chick slice up a load of people with her sword is liable to be disappointed; but there’s still plenty of swordplay in the film, and the ending in particular is a highlight on that front. There are plenty of not so savoury characters in the film also but there’s also a lot of honour too, which again distances the film from a lot of the later efforts. Overall, I can’t say that I am as big a fan of this effort as I am of the likes of the genre on the whole; but this is a film that is certainly worth seeing.


Hibotan bakuto: isshuku ippan (1968) 95 min

(DIRECTOR: Noribumi Suzuki)

IMDb/Second film in the “Hibotan Bakuto” series, starring Junko Fuji as the woman gambler.

Moviefone/”A young woman squares off against gang members who have enslaved girls to work in their silk factory.”


Red Peony Gambler 3: The Flower Cards Game (1969)

98 min


IMDb/”Best Yakuza-film ever!”

Gereon Bock (gbock@smail.uni-koeln.de) | 14 Jan 1999

Not only in my opinion, but also in Paul Schrader’s, this is the ultimative in Japanese Yakuza movies. All the figures are absolutely brilliantly portrayed, with the wonderful FUJI Yunko in an atypical role which nevertheless made her famous.

It’s about a professional female gambler who is confronted with a gang war, and who tries to save the love of young couple. Meanwhile, she brings seeing back to a young girl, but cannot help her after that… (This plays a big role in the sequel, HIBOTAN BAKUTO – ORYU SANJO). Seldom had a Gangster movie shown so much humanism, and seldom the japanese Widescreen-Processing, which is even larger than your average Cinemascope, was used more effectively. Kato brings in his stylish mixture of genre film and expressionist pictures not seen since THE BAD SLEEP WELL, and never seen in a colour production before. The only disturbing fact is the director’s affection for inhumane rape sequences, but they are here very short. Great stuff for all fans of japanese movies.

“Red Peony at her best”

10/10 | poikkeus | 5 Oct 2009

There’s nothing guilty about this pleasure, the best in the Red Peony series and an evocative glimpse into Meji-period Japan.

With its genre feel well established, this comes off feeling more like a classic western than a standard yakuza flick. Oryu, a wandering gambler known for her skill and beauty, must deal with corrupt bosses, reform a cheater for the sake of her blind daughter, and try to save a university student from certain doom after the boy falls prey to a cheat.

Director Tai Kato, a minor master of genre films, delivers a narrative with texture and emotional impact. <<<The dedicated viewer will notice a few people who played some of the other Red Peony films (all of whom were killed off), but the cast is solid and convincing.>>>


Hibotan bakuto: oryû sanjô (1970) 100 min


IMDb/”Great stuff, even if not in one league with its prequel”

Gereon Bock (gbock@smail.uni-koeln.de) | 14 Jan 1999

This is the sequel to Hibotan Bakuto – Hanafuda Shôbu, the very best Yakuza movie ever made. It’s not that good, but still it’s quite entertaining for fans of the prequel.

Oryu searches for the young, blind girl she left alone in Part One, only to find her a thief in Tokyo. She tries to help her, but again she stands between the fronts of a gang war… Much bloodier than the original, this is a good swordfighting adventure, even if the main theme of gambling is quite underrepresented. The great Fuji Junko is back again, and gives an even better performance,but is hampered by stupid dialogue (at least in the subtitled version) and too many repetitions from Part One. But why change a winning horse?


“Como hombre a veces me harto de la vida de yakuza. Viéndote a ti, una mujer, intentando encajar desesperadamente, yo …”

[Ken Takakura a Junko Sumiko, en el film ” Red Peony Gambler” (1968)]. ¿ENTIENDE USTED LA FILOSOFÍA QUE CONTIENE LA FRASE?


mayo 27, 2015 - Posted by | Sin categoría

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