A Colt Is My Passport

A Colt Is My Passport

(Koruto wa ore no pasupooto)

Takashi Nomura

  • 1967
  • Japan
  • Crime
  • 1h24mn
  • Original version with English subtitles
  • Black and white
After eliminating a mafia boss, a hitman and his driver are chased by gangs united against them. The trap is slowly closing in…
Jô Shishido, a fetish actor with the master Seijun Suzuki, definitely adopts his lone hitman role in what remained his favorite film among the hundred or so he shot for Nikkatsu. Apart from a very spaghetti western score and a Sergio Leone finale, this Japanese noir film in a French style, meaning very Melvillian, is an exercise in style: angulous framing and gangster figures in the dark. Nomura’s bloodless eyed heroes seem absent from their own lives. In this noir film tainted with existentialism, Takashi Nomura excels in close-ups: when he films faces, an unexpected gentleness results.

Gareth Evans

I’m beyond excited to be able to present Takashi Nomura’s “A Colt Is My Passport” a criminally underseen 60s Hitman / Yakuza thriller starring the effortlessly cool Jô Shishido as the eponymous hitman, Shûji.

During the pandemic, I started seeking out the films that, for some reason or another, had escaped me. I’ve always had an affinity for Japanese cinema so back in 2013 when I first became aware of "A Colt Is My Passport” (during a meeting with Shinjiro Nishimura at Nikkatsu) I knew immediately that this film with it’s undeniably cool title was one I had to see.

Problem being, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Fast forward to the pandemic. Scrolling through the Criterion Channel and there’s Patton Oswalt enthusiastically introducing the film I’d heard so much about. I clicked on it immediately. And 80 minutes or so later, I’d fallen in love with it. A lean, mean pulpy thriller - it wasn’t necessarily the story that did it for me - it was the pure style and swagger of the filmmaking on display. Shigeyoshi Mine’s cinematography is just stunning, composition and lighting is way ahead of the curve for a film at this budget level. And with a game cast playing into this fusion of genres Nomura has created a gorgeous looking noir that has echoes of American crime pictures but also fascinatingly draws inspiration from Leone’s spaghetti westerns in equal measure.

Trust me, you’ll be whistling the score by Harumi Ibe on the drive home and replaying the ferocious energy of it’s closing moments for days after. The finale in particular is straight out of the Leone playbook, Jô Shishido might as well be wearing a duster as he faces impossible odds in the most desolate of locales before being immortalized by that final iconic shot.

It’s one for the ages and I couldn’t be more excited to share, and possibly introduce this wonderful film to you all.


08/09 • 19h15 • Screen 300
Screening presented by Gareth Evans



  • With : Jô Shishido, Jerry Fujio, Chitose Kobayashi, Ryôtarô Sugi, Kanjûrô Arashi
  • Screenplay : Hideichi Nagahara, Nobuo Yamada, from the novel by Shinji Fujiwara
  • Photography : Shigeyoshi Mine
  • Editing : Akira Suzuki
  • Music by : Harumi Ibe
  • Production : Takeo Yanagawa