Accessibility Links


1h 50m Drama 1989


After narrowly surviving a traumatic brain injury, macho pro boxer Eiji Adachi (Hidekazu Akai) puts his life on the line for another chance at boxing glory—vying for a comeback despite the seriousness of his condition. A hyper-masculine brute with a devil-may-care attitude, the hot-tempered Adachi starts again from the ground up, launching his own Osaka training gym with the hopes of returning to the ring. At times comically absurd, Sakamoto’s film brings a satirical yet bleak approach to the self-destructive nature of the boxer, further bolstered by the very fact that the film is based on the life and career of lead actor Akai himself. A bittersweet tale of resilience and hardship, Knockout proved to be a word-of-mouth hit, garnering widespread popularity upon release, and has since cemented itself as one of the landmark debuts of the ‘80s.

  • Winner, Best Film at 1990 Blue Ribbon Awards
  • Winner, Best Supporting Actor (Yoshio Harada), Best Supporting Actress (Haruko Sagara), Best New Actor (Hidekazu Akai) at 1990 Kinema Junpo Awards

“This brilliant film is one of the best Japanese pictures of the year.” —Donald Ritchie

Streaming in North America from December 3-23 as part of Flash Forward: Debut Works and Recent Films by Notable Japanese Directors | Rent together with Sakamoto’s The Projects for only $15!


Junji Sakamoto





You may also like

The Projects
1h 43m Comedy 2016
Flash Forward: Conversations with the Filmmakers - Part I
48m Talk 2021
Panel Discussion: Debut Works and Beyond
1h 8m Talk 2021

Download the app to view your purchased content!