Youth of the Beast

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Youth of the Beast
Youth of the Beast poster.jpg
Directed by Seijun Suzuki
Produced by Keinosuke Kubo[1]
Screenplay by
  • Ichiro Ikeda
  • Tadaaki Yamazaki[1]
Based on A novel
by Haruhiko Oyabu
Music by Hajime Okumura[1]
Cinematography Kazue Nagatsuka[1]
Release date
  • April 1963 (1963-04) (Japan)
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Youth of the Beast (野獣の青春, Yajū no seishun?, aka Wild Youth) is a 1963 Japanese yakuza film directed by Seijun Suzuki. Much of the film is set in Tokyo.


To infiltrate a criminal organization responsible for the death of one of his colleagues, the Detective Tajima adopts the behavior of a brutal thug and plays opposing yakuza bosses against each other.



Youth of the Beast was released in Japan in April 1963.[3][2] It received an American release in the United States by Nikkatsu in 1993.[2]

Youth of the Beast was released on DVD by the Criterion Collection on January 11, 2005.[4] Eureka Entertainment released the film in on both Blu-ray and DVD release in 2014 as part of the Masters of Cinema range.[5]


In contemporary reviews in Japan, the film was generally ignored.[3] The film was not placed in the years top 40 films by Kinema Junpo and managed to place at 21st place in Eiga Hyron's through a single ballot vote.[3]

From retrospective reviews, Michael Brooke of Sight & Sound described the film as the first of Suzuki's Nikkatsu films to feature "what became recognised (albeit farm from immediately) as his characteristic approach", which Brooke described as "wildly over-composed and colour-coordinated (even the smoke billowing out of a wrecked car is a fetching reddish-brown)" stating that its "style and substance virtually indivisible and equally exhilarating."[6] Brooke found that "Suzuki doesn't so much undermine conventional gangster flick cliches as turn them up to 11, creating a powerfully satiric effects in the process"[6]


John Woo announced in 2012 that he would direct a remake of Youth of the Beast titled Day of the Beast.[7] The film is set to be produced by Woo and Terence Chang's Lion Rock Productions along with Nikkatsu.[7] The film is set in Tokyo where a Westerner becomes entered into a gang war between the Yakuza and Cold War Russian mafia.[7] The film will be written by Rob Frisbee.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Galbraith IV 1996, p. 451.
  2. ^ a b c Galbraith IV 1996, p. 452.
  3. ^ a b c Veith, Frederick; Kaffen, Phil (2014). Seijun and the System (booklet). Masters of Cinema. p. 5. EKA70148. 
  4. ^ "Youth of the Beast". AllMovie. Retrieved November 9, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Youth of the Beast [Yajû no seishun]". Eureka Video. Retrieved 10 November 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Brooke, Michael (December 2014). "New Releases". Sight & Sound. Vol. 24 no. 12. British Film Institute. p. 101. 
  7. ^ a b c d McClintock, Pamela (16 May 2012). "Cannes 2012: John Woo Set to Remake Classic Japanese Mafia Pic 'Youth of the Beast'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 


  • Galbraith IV, Stuart (1996). The Japanese Filmography: 1900 through 1994. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0032-3. 

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