Ken Takakura, a Japanese revered actor, passed away on November 10th 2014. However, word didn’t reach the press until all funeral ceremonies were taken care of… Takakura was well-known for his solemn and stoic roles. He’s a “manly man,” who took his profession very seriously. Most of the movies he’s been in have become iconic, only due to his presence.
This 1981 Japanese film won the Best Picture Award at the Japan Academy Prize (essentially the Japanese Academy Awards). There’s an amazing NY Times review that you can read. The film plays out as a number of subplots involving three women and a skilled detective/ Olympic-class sharpshooter (Ken Takakura). His life is swayed left and right due to these three women, who are: the detective’s ex-wife, his daughter, and his new lover.
Recently widowed Eiji receives a letter from his late wife, Yoko, asking him to take her ashes back to her hometown. Wondering why she had never mentioned this to him in person, he embarks on a road trip in order to fulfill her wishes, meeting people along the way who shed light on her past. All the while Eiji is impelled by the promise of a second letter, which he can only claim once his task is completed.
Ranked at #9 with a 6.6 on IMDb- Black Rain
Two New York cops get involved in a gang war between members of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. They arrest one of their killers and are ordered to escort him back to Japan.