Japanese Classic ‘Big Time Gambling Boss’ Due on Blu-ray Jan. 17 From MVD

The Japanese classic Big Time Gambling Boss will be released on Blu-ray Disc for the first time Jan. 17 as a limited edition from Radiance Films and MVD Entertainment Group.

Originally released in 1968, the film is set in Tokyo in the 1930s, where gang boss Arakawa is ill and a successor must be named. The choice falls on Nakai, but being an outsider he refuses and suggests senior clansman Matsuda instead. But Matsuda is in jail and the elders won’t wait for his release, so they appoint the younger and more malleable Ishido to take the reins. Clan honor and loyalties are severely tested when Matsuda is released, resulting in an increasingly violent internal strife.

An atmospheric tale of gangland intrigue written by Kazuo Kasahara (Battles Without Honor and Humanity) and starring Tomisaburo Wakayama (Lone Wolf and Cub, “The Bounty Hunter Trilogy”) and genre legend Koji Tsuruta, Big Time Gambling Boss is a classic of the Yakuza genre.

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Special features include a visual essay by genre expert Chris D on the film and its place within the period and genre; “Ninkyo 101,” a masterclass with Mark Schilling, author of The Yakuza Movie Book; a gallery of promotional imagery; the trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm; and a limited-edition booklet featuring new writing by author Stuart Galbraith IV and critic Hayley Scanlon. The limited-edition release includes 2,000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip.

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