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Selected by Quentin Tarantino for the First Quentin Tarantino Film Fest in Austin, Texas, 1996. See more »
In the final battle scene, Steve Ross and Han-Soo are fighting off the Japanese troops armed with sub-machine guns. Both these guns appear to be Thompson sub-machine guns which it would have been impossible to obtain in Japan. The only Japanese submachine gun was the Type 100 model which was of a markedly different appearance to the Thompson. See more »
We Japanese demand obedience from women! And We Get It!
(There are Spoilers) Unusual movie released on September 5, 1945 in the USA a mare three days after the war in the Pacific against Japan was officially ended with the signing of the surrender of the Japanese Empire on the deck of the US battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
The film "First Yank into Tokyo" is also the first major motion picture that has the atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in it and the development of the "A" Bomb as a major factor in it's story-line. Which gives you the impression that it was made in less then a month and quickly rolled out of the Hollywood movie assembly line to take advantage of that war ending and earth-shaking event.
The film itself is anything but earth-shaking with an unbelievable plot that has all-American collage football hero USAAF Major Steve Ross, Tom Neal,given a full make-over to look like a "Jap" as the Japanese were call back then in wartime Hollywood motion pictures. Ross is to infiltrate a Japanese prison camp outside of Tokyo and get the secret formula for an atomic device from captured US scientist Lewis Jardine ,Marc Cramer. Jardines captors had no idea that he was working on a bomb that would blow them to kingdom come in just a few short months! the Japanese thought that he was a just a run of the mill refrigeration technician and serviceman!
Ross now calling himself Sgt. Toma Tachiyama is smuggled into the prison camp, the notorious Camp Kamuri, by a friendly Korean black-marketeer Haan-Soo, Keye Luke, to get the information from Jardine and have him smuggled out of Japan on an awaiting British Sub expected to submerge outside Tokyo Bay in a few days.
Things get a little strange for Ross/Tachiyama when he not only finds that his long lost , and given up for dead, back home in America sweetheart Abby Drake, Barbara Hale, not only survived the Battan Death-March but is working in the prison camp as it's head nurse. Even worse Abby is in love with Lewis Jardine! The very man that Ross is supposed to rescue!
With all these coincidences whizzing through Ross' already battered brain the commandant of the prison camp is non-other then Col. Hideko Okanura, Richard Loo, who back in America was Steve Ross' collage roommate. Col. Okanura knows every move and gesture that he makes which in end gives Ross away as an American posing as a Japanese soldier.
The film is really hard to take even if it was released as a moral booster to whip up the American public to the war effort since the war was all but over by the time the movie even started shooting. It's depiction of the Japanese soldiers as uncivilized brutes who treated both man and women like dirt or even worse was like kicking someone when he was already down and out and no threat at all.
Ross together with his Korean sidekick Haan-Soo hold off an entire Japanese battalion in wave after wave of suicide attacks at the end of the movie. This gives both Jardine and Abby enough time to escape and both Ross and Haan-Soo eventually, off camera, end up getting killed by the charging Japanese hoards.
You can easily see why Steve Ross decided to stay and not go back home with Abby who was still very much in love with him. Having his face changed by plastic surgery he'll never look the same again; a before James Dean-like handsome looking Steve Ross or Tom Neal. With a face like that changing colors in every scene with alien from space-like almond-shaped eyes. With a face like that and what seems like a pair of badly fitted false teeth that makes it very difficult for him to speak intelligently who could blame Ross for voluntarily staying behind and getting himself killed in action!
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