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A. Edward Sutherland
William 'Stage' Boyd,
Matt Corbin, a vacationing magazine writer, takes a fishing trip to Minnesota, and stumbles across a lake in which all the fish have mysteriously died. The locals are tight-lipped about it,... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The scene with the child being thrown up into the air omits the follow-on shot of the child being bayoneted by a soldier - as was reported happening at the time. Audiences of the day would have known what happened next. See more »
During the bombing of Tokyo, presumably the Doolittle raid, B-17 "Flying Fortresses" ( a heavy bomber) are shown carrying out the attack. The Doolittle raid was carried out by B-25 bombers, a medium bomber, launched from the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet. See more »
About the only film made during WWII to talk about the Japanese pre-war...
... and to talk about them in any sympathetic way whatsoever. Taro Seki(Tom Neal), a happy go lucky kid, returns to Japan after finishing his degree in engineering in America. His father, Reo (J Carrol Naish) is a VIP in the government. Now it did seem a bit much that Taro would greet his dad after only four years in the U.S. with the 1940's version of "Hi daddy-O how's it hanging? I'm just swell!", but I guess the writers had to quickly show how much he had bought into the American dream and planned on living it in Japan. Taro goes to business man Clancy OHara (Donald Douglas) for an engineering job, gets one, and meets Tama (Margo), Clancys secretary. They begin seeing each other and decide to marry, but Taro is drafted into the Japanese army and is shipped off to China. All the while, Taro's father is disapproving of Taro marrying someone he considers to be a commoner, although he has nothing personal against the girl.
There is a sideplot of the European and Americans living in Japan. American journalist Sara practically proposes to Clancy, but you can tell he is scared stiff of the idea of marriage even though he enjoys Sara's company. Sara feels rebuffed, and goes off to report in China on the Japanese occupation for years. Occasionally she runs into Taro, who becomes increasingly hardened to the violence around him.
Then Taro finally returns to Japan. And then December 7,1941 rolls around with his American friends still there, where things soon become very unpleasant.
The war was still on when this was made, so naturally Japanese actors couldn't have taken these parts even if they had wanted to take them. It does a good job of showing how traditions that had held fast in Japan for centuries - loyalty to family, belief in the emporer, the high esteem given to the military, could warp into something that becomes a killing machine under the right circumstances and the wrong leaders. I'd recommend it if you ever get a chance. It isn't as preachy as many films made during WWII about WWII.
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