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This comedy-drama is partially a gentle satire on America's drive to change the world in the post-war years. One year after World War II, Captain Fisby is sent to the village of Tobiki in Okinawa to teach the people democracy. The first step is to build a school -- but the wily Okinawans know what they really want. They tell him about their culture and traditions -- and persuade him to build something they really want instead: a teahouse. Fisby has a hard time breaking this news to his superiors. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Comedy with an undertone of very scathing political and intelligent criticism.
This film is a satirical comedy on how to "westernize" the Japanese at the end of the war. Just after the Second World War, Captain "Fisby" (Glenn Ford) comes to town to Tobiki in Okinawa, to talk about the benefits of democracy.
Based on the novel of the same title by Vern Sneider (1916-1981) published in 1951. The book was later adapted for a Broadway play in 1953 and a 1956 film of the same title, both written by John Patrick, in 1970 it became a Broadway musical.
"Fisby" will have the help of "Sakini" (Marlon Brando), a young native interpreter, and both try to convince the people to build a school, even though the people want to build a teahouse run by "geisha".
The essence of this film are the characters and their hilarious dialogues; Brando deeply into the character and after long weeks of oriental behavioral study, plus the application of a couple of tapes in the eyes and a little makeup, it gets an authentic Japanese arms moving much, as do native nerve.
And another key character in the film is the figure of the colonel "Purdy" (Paul Ford). By the way, it happened that the first actor designated for that character, died before filming started so it was called Paul Ford, who won a magnificent interpretation.
The film received nine nominations for awards and / or film festivals, including six "Golden Globes" for best picture comedy / musical, best international promotional film, best actor: Marlon Brando, Best Actor: Glenn Ford, Best Actress: Machiko Kyo and Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Albert. Although not a perfect movie if you like the American comedy-fifties, I think it is a lovely film worth seeing.
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