22. Brutal Tales Of Chivalry (1965)
Director: Kiyoshi Saeki
Honor, loyalty, and the genesis of organized crime in Japan are highlighted throughout Brutal Tales Of Chivalry. Ken Takakura plays Gennosuke, a returning imperial solder who returns home and sees an impoverished townscape full of despair. And like most righteous yakuza types of the '60s Gennosuke, equipped with moral righteousness and determination, decides to defend his homeland against evil gangs. Which sounds cliche, sure, but it’s truly one of the first stylized films that properly introduced fans to the yakuza’s origins.