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

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


User Rating:
4.7/10   13 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 44% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Little Tokyo, U.S.A. on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 July 1942 (USA) See more »
SHOCKING! DARING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Forgotten racist film against Japanese Americans 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 »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 29 people found the following review useful.
Forgotten racist film against Japanese Americans, 25 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If an idiot like Miss Jones can return to radio after something like the "Tsunami Song" incident and after put a lot of dirt on the memory of Martin Luther King's struggle to avoid someone can call today Jones a "beep", it's because the mainstream don't know or try to deny the history of anti-Asian racism in the West, including Hollywood.

This comment it's not mine, but of Shuriken in It's a list of "yellow face" movies, films with white people pretending to be Asian like the infamous Mickey Rooney's Yunioshi of "Brakfast at Tiffany's".

"The main reason why this movie is not at the top of the list is because it has faded from popular memory. But in its day, Little Tokyo, U.S.A. exemplified yellow face at its most pernicious. While other works had used Asian make-up to ridicule or vilify Asian features, this B movie used yellow face directly to deny a group of Asian Americans their civil rights. The story, set in late 1941, follows tough Los Angeles cop Michael Steele (Preston Foster) as he investigates a series of crimes involving the local Japanese American community. The story gradually reveals that the crimes are to cover up a Japanese American cabal's efforts to facilitate Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor. After the horrific military attack, the Japanese American community's demonstrations of pro-U.S. patriotism are portrayed as patently insincere. Policeman Steele tracks the crime trail to an American-born spy for Tokyo, Takimura (played in yellow face by Harold Huber). Takimura is shown to represent that even Japanese Americans who are born in the U.S. can't be trusted. Takimura tries to throw Steele off the case by enlisting a neighborhood vixen, Teru (June Duprez, pictured out of make-up in a publicity still above), to seduce him. If Little Tokyo, U.S.A. had been made 20 years later, Teru and Steele might have consummated the seduction. But this being the miscegenation-phobic '40s, Takimura instead murders Teru and frames Steele for the crime. Nevertheless, Steele ends up proving his innocence and busting the spy ring. The movie ends extolling the necessity for the internment. In retrospect, knowing that not a single charge of espionage was ever brought against a Japanese American during wartime, this sensationalistic story reeks of racist propaganda. Granted, the film would not have been any better if Japanese American actors had played these propagandistic roles. But Little Tokyo, U.S.A. stands as a cautionary reminder of just how horribly a community's image can be distorted when it's not there to represent itself."

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (2 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Little Tokyo, U.S.A. (1942)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
All Through the Night 13 Rue Madeleine Betrayal from the East Panama Patrol Patriot Games
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits IMDb Action section
IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.