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Townsend Harris is sent by President Pierce to Japan to serve as the first U.S. Consul-General to that country. Harris discovers enormous hostility to foreigners, as well as the love of a young geisha. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Untrue rumor that there were fisticuffs between John Wayne and John Huston during the shoot. True, they didn't see eye-to-eye on the production, and Wayne at one point yelled for all to hear, "Huston can't direct a damn story without his father or Bogart in it!" But the director was not around to hear that. It's also very unlikely that Wayne would challenge Huston, who was an experienced boxer, and had a well-publicized brawl with fellow boxer and actor, Errol Flynn. Like that incident, had Wayne and Huston gotten into a brawl, it would have been choice fodder for gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper. See more »
When Harris is before a panel of Japanese leaders to convince them to vote to accept the treaty, he is asked by one if the U.S. imports Africans for slavery. He answers regrettably yes and goes on to say many are trying to end slavery. The story took place around 1858, fifty years after The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 took effect in 1808. See more »
Not an action packed John Wayne adventure but enjoyable for it's own merits. Those merits include an interesting look at Japan circa 1856 and how the arrival of non-Japanese were looked on with fear and loathing.
There are some odd directorial dead spots such as when Wayne as Townsend Harris is told he cannot fly the American flag. The Duke agrees to take it down but gives a speech stating that he will fly the flag at certain times. The scene trails off somewhat anti-climactically despite seemingly leading up to a dramatic confrontation.
On the whole I found the film entertaining and worth viewing.
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