Welcome to this week's "Movies... For Free!" column, where we showcase classic movies freely available in the public domain (with streaming video!). Read the article and watch the movie right here...
The Street Fighter, 1974.
Directed by Shigehiro Ozawa.
Starring Sonny Chiba, Goichi Yamada, and Yutaka Nakajima.
After the phenominal world-wide success of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon (1973), which really introduced the martial arts genre to Western audiences, Japanese production house Toei Company decided to capitalise on this new market with the release of The Street Fighter, starring Shinichi 'Sonny' Chiba.
Chiba stars as Takuma Tsurugi, a master martial artist who is approached by Yakuza gangsters to kidnap Sarai (Nakajima), the daughter of an oil tycoon. When he refuses the Yakuza sentence Tsurugi to death, so he tracks down Sarai and offers to protect her from the gangsters who are pursuing them both. Cue lots of martial arts action, blood and brutality.
Sonny Chiba had previously appeared in numerous TV and film productions in his homeland but was largely unknown in the West, with The Street Fighter proving to be his breakthrough international role. It spawned two sequels - Return of the Street Fighter and The Street Fighter's Last Revenge - along with a spin-off Sister Street Fighter (each also released in 1974), and helped to position Chiba as the premier Japanese martial arts star of the 70's and 80's.
Please note that the film is split into two parts - the second part will load automatically after the first has finished, simply click play to resume.
Embeds courtesy of Internet Archive.
Click here to view all previous entries in our Movies... For Free! collection.