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Prison Walls: Abashiri Prison 1-3 (1951 - 1971) (2 Blu-ray)

Ohjaus Teruo Ishii

Pääosissa Ken Takakura, Kôji Nanbara, Tetsurô Tanba

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Constructed in the late nineteenth century to house political prisoners, Japan's infamous Abashiri Prison served as the inspiration for a popular and prolific run of yakuza movies released between 1965 and 1972. The Masters of Cinema series is proud to present the first three entries in this landmark series, directed by the "King of Cult" Teruo Ishii (Shogun's Joy of Torture) and starring a titan of Japanese genre cinema, Ken Takakura (The Bullet Train). In Abashiri Prison, Takakura stars as Shinichi Tachibana, a yakuza sent to Abashiri as punishment for an attack on a rival gangster. He intends to serve his time as a model prisoner until he is shackled to the bullish Gonzo Gonda (Koji Nanbara), unwittingly roped into an escape attempt orchestrated by Heizo Yoda (Toru Abe) and forced to face the frozen wilderness of Hokkaido. In Another Abashiri Prison Story, Tachibana has just been released when he stumbles across a stash of diamonds recently stolen in a heist - and attracts unwanted attention from criminals and cops alike. Finally, in Abashiri Prison: Saga of Homesickness, Tachibana reunites with his former yakuza associates, who are trying to go straight. That is, at least, until old rivals come looking for trouble... Ken Takakura would reprise the role of Tachibana in another seven films under the Abashiri Prison banner - all of them helmed by Teruo Ishii - before the series was rebooted as New Abashiri Prison in 1968, leading to a further eight instalments with Takakura in the lead. It all began with these early entries, presented here for the first time ever on Blu-ray from brand new restorations of the original film elements by Toei.

Booklet, Bonus Footage, Commentary: Audio commentary tracks by Tom Mes, Chris Poggiali and Mike Leeder & Arne Venema, Interviews: Tony Rayns (critic/Asian cinema expert), Limited edition O-card slipcase featuring new artwork by Tony Stella; Video appreciation by Jasper Sharp and Mark Schilling, Trailers

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