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


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
See  »

Did You Know?


The "Matsubayashi Girls Revue" stage shows in the film were performed by the Shochiku Kagekidan Girls Revue. See more »


After Maj. Gruver has dinner with Hana-ogi, he puts the dish and the chopsticks on the table twice. See more »


Nakamura: What are you really afraid of, Miss Webster? You don't think it would enter Major Gruver's mind to marry a Japanese girl?
Eileen Webster: I don't know.
Nakamura: Then permit me to reassure you. I think Major Gruver is brave, but, uh, not so brave enough to face the censure that would result from such a marriage. As for our famous, honored Hana-ogi, there are many Japanese - most of them, in fact - who look upon marriage to an Occidental with as much distaste as your people do to one of us.
Nakamura: [continues] I do not feel that ...
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Referenced in Rhoda: The Weekend (1977) See more »


Mountains Beyond the Moon
(1957) (uncredited)
Words by Carl Sigman
Lyrics by Franz Waxman
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User Reviews

Not bad for 1957
31 July 2001 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

There's no doubt that this is a dated film. But there are certain advantages to that. It's definitely a film of its time, and as such is very revealing. Although some of the dialogue and characterizations (not to mention the music) inspire giggles, there's a fair amount to be admired here. I was pleasantly surprised by how frank the film is in its portrayal of institutionalized racism and its effects on the rank-and-file soldiers and the buracracy that controls their lives. Red Buttons and the woman who played his wife both won Oscars for their roles, and deservedly so. They are not the main characters of the film, but they embody the film's message and its spirit as well, and are the most naturally written characters in the movie.

Red Buttons's display of rage when his wife attempts to disguise her ethnicity is amazingly genuine and moving.

Yes, the women are portrayed in a derogatory fashion, as a previous reviewer has observed. But this was 1957, after all, and on top of that the film takes place in a military setting. Add to that the fact that Japan at that time was at least as bad as the West in its treatment of women and it's hardly a surprise that the gender dynamic is what it is. The most ironic thing, I found, was the fact that although Hollywood was comfortable casting Asian women in the film, the one speaking role by a Japanese male character (who has a subtly romantic role in relation to an American woman) was given to Ricardo Monalban. It was okay to have miscegenation portrayed with some frankness, as long as it involved Japanese women, not Japanese men. Sad,

24 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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