5.5/10
252
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.

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as James R. Young), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Taro Seki
...
Reo Seki
...
Lefty O'Doyle
...
Sara Braden
...
Clancy O'Hara (as Don Douglas)
...
Boris
Adeline De Walt Reynolds ...
Grandmother
Leonard Strong ...
Tama's Father
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Storyline

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>

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The year's most timely story.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 January 1944 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Alytrotoi laoi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$239,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Soundtracks

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

 
About the only film made during WWII to talk about the Japanese pre-war...
30 May 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... 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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