IMDb > Little Tokyo, U.S.A. (1942)

Little Tokyo, U.S.A. (1942) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
8 July 1942 (USA) See more »
SHOCKING! DARING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A look into the 1942 war-time mind set. See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Preston Foster ... Michael Steele
Brenda Joyce ... Maris Hanover
Harold Huber ... Ito Takimura

Donald Douglas ... Hendricks

June Duprez ... Teru

George E. Stone ... Kingoro
Abner Biberman ... Satsuma
Charles Tannen ... Marsten
Frank Orth ... Jerry
Edward Soo Hoo ... Suma
Beal Wong ... Shadow
Daisy Lee ... Mrs. Satsuma
Leonard Strong ... Fujiama
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Capt. Wade
Richard Loo ... Oshima
Victor Sen Yung ... Okono
Melie Chang ... Mrs. Okono
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lester Dorr ... Clerk (uncredited)
Jim Farley ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)
William Forrest ... District Attorney (uncredited)

Millard Mitchell ... George 'Sleepy' Miles (uncredited)
Emory Parnell ... Slavin (uncredited)
Nino Pipitone ... Japanese Consul (uncredited)
Mel Ruick ... Announcer (uncredited)
Tommy Tucker ... Boy (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Announcer (uncredited)
John Wald ... Announcer (uncredited)

Directed by
Otto Brower 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
George Bricker 

Produced by
Bryan Foy .... producer
William Goetz .... executive producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Joseph MacDonald 
Film Editing by
Harry Reynolds 
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Maurice Ransford 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Costume Design by
Herschel McCoy 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sam Schneider .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bernard Freericks .... sound
Harry M. Leonard .... sound
Music Department
Emil Newman .... musical director
Other crew
Harry Brand .... publicity director (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
64 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Edited into All This and World War II (1976)See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
A look into the 1942 war-time mind set., 17 May 2015
Author: gordonl56 from Canada

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


This rather nasty film is a low budget flag-waver from the B unit at Twentieth Century Fox. It stars Preston Foster as a Police Lt assigned to the Los Angeles district known as "Little Tokyo", an area where many of the local Japanese American population live and work.

The film starts a month before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese have sent an agent, Harold Huber to take control of the Axis spy apparatus in Southern California. Needless to say every Japanese around, seems to be in on the fifth-column act.

Foster has been a cop in the area for years and senses something nefarious is afoot. He warns his boss, Captain J. Farrell Macdonald of his suspicions, but these are blown off. Foster's girl, Brenda Joyce works for a local news radio station. She also thinks Foster is letting his suspicious nature get the better of him.

Foster enlists the help of a Japanese American he was at college with, Richard Loo. He wants Loo to look in on a few people he has heard rumours about. Of course Loo shows up the next day on a slab at the morgue. It takes a bit of detective work to identify the body, since it is sans head.

Now Foster knows, there is more than a few rats in the cheese cupboard. He starts raiding homes and business he suspects of being involved. This just gets him warnings from headquarters when the locals complain about his tactics.

Now we discover that Foster's girl, Brenda Joyce's boss at the radio station, Don Douglas, is really a Nazi. He is in with the Japanese bunch gathering intelligence for the Axis. They use the radio transmitter at the station to send out coded messages.

Foster however keeps being an annoyance to the spy network. They decide to use one of their female operatives, the exotic looking, June Duprez to bag Foster. Duprez is to call up Foster and tell him she has some important information, then, lure him to a meeting.

Foster bites and is soon meeting with Duprez. She hands him a drink and then starts with a cock and bull story of spies etc. The drink of course was drugged and Foster is soon face-down on the floor. Douglas and Huber join the pair. Douglas pours a healthy jolt of whiskey down Foster's throat. They then muss up his clothes, and take his gun. Douglas now shoots Duperz and plants the gun back on Foster. Douglas says to Huber that Duperz has died for the cause. A quick phone call to the Police is now made.

Foster is slapped in jail on a murder beef. Of course everyone believes that Foster has finally went over the edge. What with all the complaints etc against him of late.

Now December 7th arrives and maybe Foster was not so nuts after all. With some aid from others, Foster soon busts out of jail. He hides out at the city morgue, the last place anyone will look for a living person. He then spends his night's shadowing the same people he suspected before. It does not take long before he turns up the proof required. There is now a round-up of the Axis bunch for a date with the rope.

There is more than a little heavy handed spreading of anti-Japanese sentiment in this one. There is a lecture, both at the start, and the finish, about the need to relocate those of Japanese heritage. Seen today, this comes across as hard racism, but at the time, there was real fear of a fifth column. Hard to second guess history, but in reality there were no charges of espionage ever brought against a Japanese American during wartime. (American born Iva Toguri, one of several women dubbed Tokyo Rose, did face charges of treason after the war for her broadcasts)

The film was a hit and packed the theatres.

Brenda Joyce is best remembered today as the second actress to play "Jane" in the popular TARZAN films. June Duprez was on the big screen between 1936 and 1947. Her biggest film was 1947's CALCUTTA, where she played opposite rising star, Alan Ladd.

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