The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) Poster

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A great satire of the okinawan experience after WWII
r-silvestri8 December 2004
I have spent many years on Okinawa and am always amazed at Brando's ability to create a character (Sakini) that is true to the Okinawan character. I have watched it many times over and enjoy it every time. When I'm asked why I visit Okinawa so often, I usually loan them my copy of "Teahouse" and wait for a response. It is a story of a resilient and happy people who have retained their culture, through many invasions. Brando's monologue at the beginning and end of the film masterfully explains it all. The kids will like it and adults should get a laugh while watching the arrogant victors being steered to the Okinawan's needs in a hilarious manner. It's not quite history and it's not quite fantasy, but it's all good fun.
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Gentle fun, heartwarming - a gem !
Robert D. Ruplenas21 April 2005
I just had the chance to see this charming movie again in widescreen format in what evidently is a new or restored print on Turner Classic Movies, and I'm realizing that I love the flick more and more each time I see it. The wonderful cast - Glenn Ford, Paul Ford (ironic - no relation!), Eddie Albert, Marlon Brando and Harry Morgan - do a fine job of playing out the movie's humorous meditation on culture clash, and the ability of a strong but flexible people to maintain their Eastern ways in the face of Western "aid". Brando, in particular, is surprising; this is about as far from Stanley Kowalksi or Terry Malloy as you can get, and one would not think him able to do much with a humorous, cross-racial characterization, yet the brilliant and convincing manner in which he pulls it off reminds us of the great thespian talent he once possessed and which he tended to squander as his life progressed. I believe this film had its origins in a very successful stage play; we can thank the forces involved for committing this funny, charming, and ultimately heart-warming story to celluloid. Best line: "I've come to a state of gracious acceptance somewhere between my ambitions and my limitations."
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Fun and gentle view of cultures meeting
ddavis-usnr26 March 2005
This film is an under-appreciated and charming little adventure set in the time immediately after World War II. It has a very enjoyable mix of some excellently-cast actors, from the laid-back Glenn Ford, the frenetic Eddie Albert, and the pompous Paul Ford, to the host of beguiling Japanese actors. Casting Marlon Brando as Sakini requires a little suspension of belief, but his contribution quickly adds to the seductive quality of the movie. It turns out to be a good send-up of the officious, but largely benign, senior military leadership of the era, but largely revolves around Glenn Ford's character, Capt. Fisby, finding his métier. Mainly it is a loving and alluring little fiction about two peoples getting to know and appreciate each other.

It is a very nice little comedy to be enjoyed, but it clearly is not meant to be a documentary representation of U.S. Military occupation forces, and if it is viewed as such, much of the magic of the movie will be lost. While it may contain a few minor instances of the attitudes of that day, some of which are no longer politically correct, there is no malice in the characterizations and the overall message is one of appreciation of both cultures. A very enjoyable way to escape the hassle and hustle of today.
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Comedy with an undertone of very scathing political and intelligent criticism.
psagray10 November 2012
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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Brando great!
wiggy305614 April 2005
For a guy who had some heavy duty roles,Waterfront,Sreetcar etc. this role was a real challenge for Brando and he is fabulous and steals movie although Glenn Ford is great too. This shows Brando's brilliance as an actor not that there was ever any doubt but this early in his career to take this comedic challenge shows his versatility. Is Glenn Ford ever bad? I don't think he gets the credit for all his talent. This movie probably could not be made today a victim of PC. Must have Asian play Asian and don't offend the the Japanese although the only people made to look like fool were the Americans which is fine with me because it's a comedy and people are suppose to look foolish. Never on, but caught on TCM.
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It just gets better at every screening!
yvesrodier-12 December 2003
This movie is soooooo funny!

For those who think it is racist, wake-up!!! The Americans are the ones being made fun of! And Brando as a Japanese? Just hilarious!!! Who would have thought?!

I can't believe that some people are saying Glenn Ford stumbles while tying to ad-lib his lines... IT IS CALLED ACTING!!! And he does a wonderful job at it!!!

See this movie, and judge by yourself! 4 1/2 * out of 5
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Simply hilarious
SquirePM20 August 2000
This movie is a joke! A joke! Get it??? A joke from beginning to end.

And it's hysterical. From the patently ludicrous comedy turn by Marlon Brando to the patented comic shtick by the wonderful Paul Ford. With Glenn Ford and Eddie Albert sandwiched in the middle in a farcical romp that barely lets you stop laughing long enough to catch your breath.

Ah, the mighty American conquerors, hornswoggled by the "simple peasants" of the beaten nation. Peter Sellers did this again a few years later in The Mouse That Roared - - let's get the Americans to beat us in a war so they'll make us rich!

But this one is a LOT funnier. ***** out of *****

And by the way, when I sent this tape to my daughter she called me and said she liked the film but I told her Marlon Brando was in it, and he wasn't! Ah, these twentysomethings!
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Marlon Brando as Japanese?
Ilya Mauter5 May 2003
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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A gem!
EighthSense11 July 2004
This movie was the first chance to see Marlon Brando in a truly comical role, not the "He Man"-unbelievably good! His accent, his body movements, the Japanese he spoke, hard to believe this was the same man who did the Waterfront.I really think he deserved an award for this role. These were a couple of the most enjoyable hours I've ever spent. Having lived in Okinawa, and familiar with the practical, down-to-earth people there, I enjoyed the movie that makes so much fun and caricatures narrow-mindedness and pompousness while exalting creativity, adaptation, and "what really matters". The movie does make fun of the narrow-mindedness of some Americans, and shows the Okinawans with respect and tenderness, as assertive, business-minded, resilient, and proud. A real quality movie, and I'm so glad I taped it from Turner Classic movies.10 out of 10.
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great film
kyle_furr9 March 2004
Marlon Brando stars as a Japanese interpreter and Glenn Ford plays a captain who has been in almost every branch in the military. Ford is ordered to go to a Japanese village to teach the people about democracy and to build a schoolhouse in the shape of the pentagon. The Japanese are only interested in building a teahouse and their isn't enough money to build both. The Japanese try to sell some homemade stuff but it won't sell until Ford finds out that they also make brandy. The military can't get enough brandy, so they build a teahouse instead of a schoolhouse. The military don't like what Ford is doing so they send a psychiatrist but he ends up helping them out instead. I thought Glenn Ford was great here and Brando also did a good job.
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