US film poster
|Directed by||Terence Young|
|Produced by||Robert Dorfmann
|Screenplay by||Denne Bart Petitclerc
|Story by||Laird Koenig|
|Music by||Maurice Jarre|
|Edited by||Johnny Dwyre|
Les Films Corona
Oceania Produzioni Internazionali Cinematografiche
Producciones Balcázar S.A.
|Distributed by||Les Films Corona (France)
National General Pictures (US)
|15 September 1971 (France)
9 June 1972 (United States)
|Box office||3,300,488 admissions (France)|
Red Sun, also known as Soleil rouge, is a 1971 French-Italian-Spanish Western film with an international cast. It stars U.S.-born actor Charles Bronson, Japanese actor Toshirō Mifune, French actor Alain Delon and Swiss actress Ursula Andress. It was filmed in Spain by the British director Terence Young. It was released in the U.S. in 1972.
Link Stuart (Bronson) is a ruthless outlaw, and co-leader along with Gauche (Delon) of a gang of bandits. Link and Gauche lead their gang on a successful train robbery, and discover that one of its cars carries a Japanese ambassador, who is bringing a ceremonial katana (sword) as a gift for President Ulysses S. Grant. Gauche takes the sword, and kills one of the two samurai guards, while members of his gang attempt to murder Link by throwing dynamite into the train car he occupies, then leaving him for dead.
The surviving Japanese delegation rescues Link, and the ambassador instructs him to assist the surviving samurai guard, Kuroda (Mifune), in tracking down Gauche so that he may kill him and recover the sword and his honor. Kuroda is given one week to fulfill this task, or commit seppuku. Link reluctantly agrees, but he realizes that Kuroda will kill Gauche immediately, before he is able to extract the location of the stolen loot. Link repeatedly attempts to elude Kuroda, only to be thwarted by the irrepressible samurai.
While tracking Gauche's gang, Kuroda eventually reveals that his samurai values are disappearing as his countrymen no longer value the customs of old. Link gains a measure of respect for the strict bushido code Kuroda follows, and eventually comes to an agreement with the samurai that Gauche will not be killed before he reveals the location of the stolen money first. The duo eventually abduct Gauche's woman, Cristina (Andress), who leads the men to Gauche and his gang.
On the way to Gauche, however, the three run afoul of a group of Comanches, and Cristina is forced to kill one of them in self-defense, compelling the band's enraged chief into chasing after them. When Link and Kuroda finally find Gauche, the Indians attack, forcing the two unlikely friends to join forces with the bandits against their common enemy. In the ensuing fight, the Comanches are repelled, but Kuroda is mortally wounded by Gauche as he tries to fulfill his revenge. Disarmed by Link, Gauche tries appealing to Link's greed, but Link decides that the dying samurai's honor is more important to him than learning the location of the stolen money, so he kills Gauche. Just before Kuroda expires, Link promises him that he will return the katana to the Japanese ambassador. He does so, thus preserving Kuroda's honor.
- Charles Bronson as Link Stuart
- Ursula Andress as Cristina
- Toshirō Mifune as Kuroda Jubei
- Alain Delon as Gauche
- Capucine as Pepita
- Barta Barri as Paco
- Guido Lollobrigida as Mace
- Anthony Dawson as Hyatt
- Gianni Medici as Miguel (as John Hamilton)
- Georges Lycan as Sheriff Stone (as George W. Lycan)
- Luc Merenda as Chato
- Tetsu Nakamura as the Japanese Ambassador
- Mónica Randall as Maria
Toshiro Mifune signed early. Clint Eastwood was mentioned as a possible early co star. It was originally to be made for Warner Bros but was eventually made by France's Corona Films, headed by Robert Dorfman and Ted Richmond.
- "Soleil Rouge". British Film Institute. London. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
- Box office information for film at Box Office Story
- The New York Times
- Tate Case Chatter Goes On--and On Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 22 Sep 1969: e19.
- MOVIE CALL SHEET: Wendell Burton to Star Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 23 Oct 1970: d17.