Behind the Rising Sun (1943)

Approved  |   |  Drama, War  |  8 November 1945 (Portugal)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 213 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 8 critic

In Japan, foreigners and their Japanese friends are caught up in the rising tide of militarism.



(book) (as James R. Young) , (original screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Margo ...
Taro Seki
Reo Seki
Lefty O'Doyle
Sara Braden
Clancy O'Hara (as Don Douglas)
George Givot ...
Adeline De Walt Reynolds ...
Leonard Strong ...
Tama's Father


Cornell-educated Taro Seki returns to Japan just as the war party gains control. He hopes to work for American engineer O'Hara, and falls for his secretary Tama, but he is drafted. War service in China finally hardens Taro to atrocities, and he returns to Japan a changed man. His father, now a cabinet minister, feels remorse at what war has done to his son and country, but too late to save Taro's foreign friends. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The year's most timely story.


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

8 November 1945 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Alytrotoi laoi  »

Box Office


$250,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nancy Gates (Tama's sister) and Daisy Lee (Takahashi's servant) are in studio records/casting call lists, but do not appear in the movie. See more »


Alma Mater
(ca 1870) (uncredited)
(Cornell University's Marching Song)
Music by H.S. Thompson from his ballad "Annie Lisle" (1857)
Lyrics by Archibald Croswell-Weeks and Wilmot Moses Smith (ca 1870)
Sung by Tom Neal a cappella
See more »

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User Reviews

Loopy, intriguing WWII propaganda
22 May 1999 | by (Louisville, KY USA) – See all my reviews

We'd call it racist today, but this constantly amusing bit of rabble rousing did what it had to do at the time, while allowing somewhat refreshingly that not all Japanese were monsters. When this was made, the outcome of the war was still not assured, although the bombing raids over Tokyo were in full swing, as the end of the film shows. Along the way there's an incongruous mix of white RKO stock leads unconvincingly playing the main Japanese characters while actors of actual Japanese descent play minor supporting parts. J. Carrol Naish may seem silly as a Japanese businessman, but he is surprisingly sincere as the misguided father who goads his nonviolent, Americanized son with jingoistic pleas to enter military service. To the father's eventual dismay, the son, played by Tom Neal in one of Hollywood's more notable instances of miscasting, becomes an increasingly callous savage who comes to relish Japanese atrocities while on duty in China. Showing that Hollywood could do the Goebbels thing with the best of them, the film proceeds to show Japanese soldiers pushing opium on children, yanking mothers away from crying infants, hauling Chinese women into prostitution houses, bayoneting children, and--worst of all--slapping around American nationals! The highlight is a wacky, drawn-out duel of strength between an American boxer (Robert Ryan doing his "The Set Up" thing six years before the fact) and a Japanese jujitsu expert. The film's opening titles claim that the whole thing is 100 percent true and authentic, a perfect red flag to take it all with a grain of salt.

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