The Street Fighter
March 4th, 2023

The Street Fighter

Please join Cultivate Cinema Circle as we screen five classic martial arts films from the 1970s. Next is Shigehiro Ozawa’s The Street Fighter [Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken] [1974] starring Sonny Chiba.

Event Sponsors:

Venue Information:

Downtown Central Library Auditorium
1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203
(Enter from Clinton Street between Oak and Washington Streets)
716-858-8900 •
COVID protocol will be followed.

TrailerSynopsisDirector BioLinks

An important business magnate dies, leaving billions to his daughter, the Mafia and Yakuza try to hire Terry (Chiba) to kidnap the daughter.


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Courtesy of IMDb:

Shigehiro Ozawa was born on August 29, 1922 in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. He was a director and writer, known for Kanto hamonjo (1965), Tekiya no Ishimatsu (1976) and Kizu darake jinsei furui do de gonzansu (1972). He died on October 12, 2004.


  • Sister Street Fighter: Fifth Level Fist (1976)
  • Tekiya no Ishimatsu (1976)
  • Gekitotsu! Aikidô (1975)
  • The Streetfighter’s Last Revenge (1974)
  • San-daime Shumei (1974)
  • Gokuaku kenpô (1974)
  • Return of the Street Fighter (1974)
  • The Street Fighter (1974)
  • Miike Kangoku: Kyôaku han (1973)
  • Bokyo Komori-uta (1972)
  • Bounty Hunter 3: Eight Men to Kill (1972)
  • Kînagashî hyâkunîn (1972)
  • Gokudo makari touru (1972)
  • Kizu darake jinsei furui do de gonzansu (1972)
  • Scratched Faces (1971)
  • Nippon jokyô-den: Gekitô Himeyuri-misaki (1971)
  • Nihon kyokaku-den: Dosu (1971)
  • Okoma: The Orphan Gambler (1971)
  • Fudatsuki bakuto (1970)
  • Yukyo-retsuden (1970)
  • House of Gamblers (1970)
  • Gorotsuki butai (1969)
  • Tosei-nin Retsuden (1969)
  • Killer’s Mission (1969)
  • Hibotan bakuto: Nidaime shûmei (1969)
  • Yokogami-yaburino zenkamono (1968)
  • Bakuto retsuden (1968)
  • Ikasama bakuchi (1968)
  • Bazoku yakuza (1968)
  • Bakuchiuch Nagurikomi (1968)
  • Ah kaiten tokubetsu kogetikai (1968)
  • Bakuchi uchi (1967)
  • Naniwa kyokaku: dokyo shichinin giri (1967)
  • San-nin no bakuto (1967)
  • Bakuchi-uchi: Fujimi no shôbu (1967)
  • Bakuchi-uchi: Ippiki ryû (1967)
  • Ôtazune mono shichinin (1966)
  • Bakuto Shichi-nin (1966)
  • Kanto hamonjo (1965)
  • Kantô yakuza mono (1965)
  • Kangoku bakuto (1964)
  • Gambler (1964)
  • Bakuto tai tekiya (1964)
  • Jigokû meirei (1964)
  • Shinsengumi ketsufu roku – Kondo isami (1963)
  • Gyangu Chûshingura (1963)
  • Boryokudan (1963)
  • Yojinbô ichiba (1963)
  • Five Ronin (1963)
  • Uragiri mono wa jigoku daze (1962)
  • Sakura hangan (1962)
  • Echigo jishi matsuri (1962)
  • Jigokû no sâbaki wa ore ga surû (1962)
  • The Bandits (1962)
  • Kengo tengu matsuri (1961)
  • Akai kage-bôshi (1961)
  • Himayala mushuku – Shinzo yaburi no yaro domo (1961)
  • Hayabusa daimyo (1961)
  • Amazon mushuku seiki no daimaoh (1961)
  • Case of Umon: Nanbanzame Murders (1961)
  • Boku wa jigoku no tehinshi da (1961)
  • Nippatsume wa jigoku-iki daze (1960)
  • Nanatsu no kao no otoko daze (1960)
  • Zubekô tenshi (1960)
  • Muhô gai no yarô domo (1959)
  • Jigokû no sokô made tsuki auzê (1959)
  • Abare kaido (1959)
  • Shingo’s Original Challenge 2 (1959)
  • Kenka taiheiki (1958)
  • Kunisada Chûji (1958)
  • Tajobushin (1957)
  • Case of a Young Lord 4: Bridal Robe in Blood (1957)
  • Mitsu-kubi-tou (1956)
  • Kenjû tai kenjû (1956)
  • Anger! Rikidozan (1956)
  • Ninjutsu Sanshirô (1955)
  • Yuya dôji: Dai nibu: Akatsuki no yarikitai (1955)
  • Yuya dôji: Dai ichibu: Dewa no ko tengu (1955)
  • Hyakumen dôji Kanketsu-hen: Islam no joô (1955)
  • Hyakumen dôji Dai san-hen: Bateren no utage (1955)
  • Hyakumen dôji: Dai ni-hen: Satan no iwaya (1955)
  • Hyakumen doji: Dai ichi-hen: Giyaman no himitsu (1955)
  • Aa Dôyamaru (1954)
  • Mikazuki Dôji: Kanketsu-hen banri no makyô (1954)
  • Mikazuki Dôji: Dai ni-hen: Tenbakû o seiku (1954)
  • Mikazuki Dôji: Dai ichi-hen: Ken kumo yaribusuma (1954)
  • Uta goyomi iro wa wakashû (1954)
  • Nozarashi hime: Tsuigeki sanjukki (1954)

Here is a curated selection of links for additional insight/information:

  • Cultivate Cinema Circle info-sheet – link
  • “Sonny Chiba was the anti-Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was all about finesse with his martial arts; he moved like the proverbial butterfly who stung like a bee. When Sonny Chiba first made it big in America as Takuma Tsurugi in The Street Fighter films, he was a wasp—angry, spoiling for a fight, and reveling in the blood he drew and bones he broke. But Sonny Chiba was so much more than just his Street Fighter character. Over the course of a career that spanned over 60 years, he played superheroes, scientists, assassins, samurai, emperors, detectives, soldiers, and more…Born Sadaho Maeda in 1938 in Fukuoka, Japan, Sonny Chiba was a star even when he wasn’t on TV or film screens. He holds six black belts in six martial arts, including kendo, judo, and ninjutsu(!). In 1970, he started his own martial arts school for actors and stuntpeople named the Japan Action Club. He was the martial arts choreographer for dozens of film and TV projects, only some of which he starred in. Chiba was also a director, producer, and theater actor, including in a stage play of Biohazard video game series, better known in the U.S. as Resident Evil. Tragically, Chiba was another victim of Covid-19, which Oricon reports that he had been battling for some time. Although he was being treated in a Chiba prefecture hospital, he also developed pneumonia, and ultimately succumbed to it earlier today. He is survived by his three children, and the cinematic legacy he left behind will never be forgotten.” —Rob Bricken, Brooklyn Vegan [2021] – link
  • “Late last week, the world lost veteran actor and martial arts legend, Sonny Chiba. Although only particularly diehard American audiences knew of him until his role in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 1, out of the dozens of grindhouse kung-fu brawlers leading up to his 2003 mainstream stateside introduction, one title arguably stood apart from the bone-crunching pack: The Street Fighter. Released in 1974, The Street Fighter garnered a level of American scandal—and, thereby a level of salacious success, of course—for achieving the first ever X-rating bestowed solely for its ‘extreme violence.’ Although many of our desensitized readers today would barely bat an eye at The Street Fighter’s throat-ripping, skull-smashing, penis-removing violence, back in the mid-1970s it was apparently enough for MPAA’s Code and Rating Administration (CARA) to deem the film too inappropriate for anyone under the age of 17. More specifically, as this dive into the archival bowels at The New York Times reveals, the ignominious claim to infamy can be attributed to one person in particular: Richard D. Heffner. ‘Some people consider us censors…We’re not. We don’t ban anything, or demand that changes be made in films,’ Heffner told journalist Gerald Jonas back in 1975. ‘We don’t make judgments about the value or quality of films. If you’re over the age of 17, nothing we do affects what you can see in a movie theater.’ Of course, it goes without saying that an ‘X’ rating has, until very recently, been seen as a film’s kiss of death. There’s also ratings board’s long history of arguable double standards, something even the NYT brought up in 1975, noting critics’ claims of CARA’s ‘hard line with films submitted by independent producers and distributors while letting the giant film companies get away with murder.’ The entire NYT profile is an interesting one, delving into the history of U.S. film regulation and censorship alongside arguments for and against the ‘X’ rating. In The Street Fighter’s case, ‘after reaping the benefits of free publicity from the original rating,’ the director managed to submit a heavily edited version which finally garnered a more palatable ‘R’ rating from CARA. Heffner, for his part, reportedly stated that he ‘couldn’t imagine any way to take the ‘X’ out of the film, short of destroying it and starting again,’ so his opinion was wrong at least once in his career…” —Andrew Paul, A.V. Club [2021] – link

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