11 user 8 critic

Behind the Rising Sun (1943)

Approved | | Drama, War | 27 January 1944 (Mexico)
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:
Taro Seki
Reo Seki
Lefty O'Doyle
Sara Braden
Clancy O'Hara (as Don Douglas)
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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The year's most timely story.


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

27 January 1944 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Alytrotoi laoi  »

Box Office


$239,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Car on a dirt street with tires screeching as it stopped quickly to avoid hitting a woman. 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

of course, it was propaganda...
2 June 2005 | by (Orlando FL) – See all my reviews

Well, where do I start? I would like to point out some erroneous statements by the first viewer commenting. He states that the introductory statement says it is "100% true" and "authentic". Actually, its says "true-to-life", which I would construe to be similar to today's films saying that the movie is "based on...". It states that the film is not biographical, but the incidents depicted did occur. We know from historical works that the Japanese were responsible for many atrocities in China, especially Manchuria...the giving of opium to the starving villagers, the bayoneting of infants and toddlers, the raping of Chinese women and the setting up of houses of prostitution to "service" the Japanese Army & so on. So as Hollywood has always done, they take real facts and fictionalized & personalized them to give them more impact. A statement by the previous commenter, about how all the major roles were played by white actors, while actors of Japanese heritage played lesser/support roles. Well, as far as I can tell by cast listing, there were no Japanese actors in the movie. Philip Ahn (Korean descent), Benson Fong and the other Asian actors are Chinese ancestry. J. Carroll Naish had played other Asian characters throughout his career. Tama was played by Mexican-American actress, Margo (married to Eddie Albert).Tom Neal makes a very strange Japanese, even for the time...For a propaganda film, it is more even handed in its portrayal of the Japanese characters and the upheaval in Japanese society then many war films of its day. There are two story strands, the brutalization of Taro, from a americanized frat boy to a murdering martinet and the humanizing of his father, Reo Seki, who comes to see the loss of son and his son's happiness in marriage to Tama, a farmer's daughter and the destruction of the rigid social order of his beloved country... The Russian is portrayed positively; the German a bit dismissively; and the three Americans (woman reporter, the male engineer, the baseball coach), are all different faces of American society: the brave American (the woman reporter); the status-quo American (the engineer) and the "ugly" American (the baseball coach).

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