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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>
Casting Marlon Brando in this film as Sakini, a Japanese interpreter for American troops in post WW-II Japan is considered by many critics and film historians alike as one of the worst casting errors ever made in a film history. In my opinion, though, Marlon Brando is the one responsible for turning this quite an average film into a hillarious comedy. Yes, they really did it. With a little bit of make up and great effort from actor's part to learn Japanese mannerism and language in order to get an accent in his speech we have here Marlon Brando in his most unimaginable role. The rest of the cast is also quite good, namely Paul Ford as Colonel Waiwright Purdy III, a somehow cliche figure of stubborn, narrow minded US military officer and Glenn Ford by his side as Captain Fisby, for whom Brando's character Sakini ends up working as an interpreter and, of cause, unforgettable Machiko Kyo, as a spirited geisha, whom lovers of Japanese cinema must remember from Akira Kurosawa's films.
Directed by Daniel Mann (Butterfield 8, Come Back, Little Sheba) and based on John Patrick's stage play that was a big hit on Broadway at it's time, The Teahouse of the August Moon is slow in parts and in terms of some aspects of the story considerably aged and outdated but still funny and entertaining movie. 8/10
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