Sayonara (1957)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  20 December 1957 (Japan)
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Reviews: 35 user | 22 critic

A US air force major in Kobe confronts his own opposition to marriages between American servicemen and Japanese women when he falls for a beautiful performer.



(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Patricia Owens ...
Eileen Webster
Captain Bailey
Mrs. Webster
Miiko Taka ...
Joe Kelly
Kent Smith ...
General Webster
Douglass Watson ...
Colonel Crawford (as Douglas Watson)
Reiko Kuba ...
Soo Yong ...
Shochiku Kagekidan Girls Revue
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jane Chung


Major Lloyd Gruver, a Korean War flying ace reassigned to Japan, staunchly supports the military's opposition to marriages between American troops and Japanese women. But that's before Gruver experiences a love that challenges his own deeply set prejudices... and plunges him into conflict with the U.S. Air Force and Japan's own cultural taboos. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Worlds apart...theirs was the daring love affair violating every rule, every custom, every centuries-old belief! See more »


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 December 1957 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Сайонара  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Burt Reynolds auditioned for this movie. See more »


Several times during the movie salutes are improperly exchanged between officers and between officers and enlisted. Military protocol requires the salute of the junior officer to be held until returned by the senior officer. The same thing applies when an enlisted man salutes an officer of any rank. See more »


Major Gruver: Are you gonna sit there with your bare face hangin' out and tell me you never heard of Tanabata?
See more »


Referenced in Domo Arigato (1972) See more »


Mountains Beyond the Moon
(1957) (uncredited)
Words by Carl Sigman
Lyrics by Franz Waxman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Beautiful film.
30 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

Sayonara is one of my special favorites. I love rediscovering this beautiful film. Personally I disliked the book; I found it cowardly. Brando is apparently responsible for the courageous ending of the film and I bless him for it. I find he was extraordinarily brave way back in 1957 when Sayonara was made. Strong, wonderful cast are a delight; James Garner, Patricia Owens and the two Oscar winners, Buttons and Umeki support Brando and Miiko Taki. The soundtrack is also lovely.

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