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 ...
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


"I am not allowed to love. But I will love you if that is your desire..." Marlon Brando and an exquisite new Japanese star. They LIVE James A. Michener's story of defiant desire. It is called "Sayonara" 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Also according to Turner Classic Movies, Marlon Brando insisted on playing Ace Gruver with a Southern accent, against the will of the director and producers. Brando adopted a nondescript Southern accent for Gruver, despite the objections of director Joshua Logan, who didn't think that a general's son who was West Point-educated would speak that way. See more »


Most of the movie was filmed in Kyoto, not Kobe. See more »


Hana-ogi: The pleasure does not lie in the end itself. It's in the pleasurable steps to that end.
See more »


Featured in The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998) See more »


("Goodbye") (1957)
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
Performed by Miiko Taka (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

11 December 2001 | by (MIAMI,FLORIDA) – See all my reviews

Personally, I think Sayonara was the greatest movie he ever made. It touched every emotion from anger to romance to complete tragedy. And Brando should have won for best actor. Anyway, the movie is awesome, the man is attractive to BOTH MEN AND WOMEN and now you have no reason not to see it! Do so, and fall in love.

17 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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