MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,343 this week

The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958)

TV-G  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  30 September 1958 (USA)
5.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,202 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 8 critic

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 2104 titles
created 21 Mar 2013
 
a list of 315 titles
created 20 Oct 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 20 May 2014
 
a list of 24 titles
created 8 months ago
 
list image
a list of 34 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958)

The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958) on IMDb 5.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Barbarian and the Geisha.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Western | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In the post-war Hawaii, House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter hunt down communists.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Nancy Olson, James Arness
Adventure | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply center. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After the Civil War, ex-Union Colonel John Henry Thomas and ex-Confederate Colonel James Langdon are leading two disparate groups of people through strife-torn Mexico. John Henry and ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Antonio Aguilar
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Sam and George strike gold in Alaska. George sends Sam to Seattle to bring George's fiancée back to Alaska. Sam finds she is already married, and returns instead with Angel. Sam, after ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs
The Sea Chase (1955)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

As World War II begins, German freighter captain Karl Ehrlich tries to get his ship back to Germany through a gauntlet of Allied warships.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: John Wayne, Lana Turner, David Farrar
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Struggling to retain custody of his daughter following his divorce, football coach Steve Williams finds himself embroiled in a recruiting scandal at the tiny Catholic college he is trying ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: John Wayne, Donna Reed, Charles Coburn
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: John Wayne, Lloyd Nolan, Walter Abel
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

'Guns' Donovan prefers carousing with his pals Doc Dedham and 'Boats' Gilhooley, until Dedham's high-society daughter Amelia shows up in their South Seas paradise.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Elizabeth Allen
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A cinematic record of US military operations on the Aleutian Island of Adak to retake Japanese occupied Kiska.

Director: John Huston
Stars: John Huston, Walter Huston, Milton Ashkin
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A member of British Intelligence assumes a fictitious criminal identity and allows himself to be caught, imprisoned, and freed in order to infiltrate a spy organization and expose a traitor.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda, James Mason
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Eiko Ando ...
Okichi
...
...
Governor Tamura (as So Yamamura)
Edit

Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

JOHN HUSTON'S UNPARALLELED ADVENTURE AND LOVE STORY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 September 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Barbarian  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Anthony Mann owned the rights to this story, but he sold it to Fox after being unable to sign a big-enough star to play the lead. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Referenced in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Quiet excellence
16 May 2007 | by (England) – See all my reviews

This is very much not the sort of movie for which John Wayne is known. He plays a diplomat, a man who gets things done through words and persuasion rather than physical action. The film moves with a quiet realism through its superficially unexciting story.

For the open-minded, the patient and the thoughtful, this movie is a rich depiction of an intriguing part of history.

There are two intertwining stories. The big story is of internalised, isolationist Japan and externalised, expansionist America clashing when their interests conflict. The small, human, story is of an outsider barbarian (Wayne) and a civilised Geisha's initial hostility and dislike turning to mutual respect and love. The human story is a reflection of the greater story of the two nations.

The movie is very well done and all actors play their roles well. The two lead roles are performed to perfection. John Wayne is excellent as Townsend Harris, striking exactly the right blend of force and negotiation in his dealings with the Japanese. Eiko Ando is likewise excellent as the Geisha of the title, charming and delightful. The interaction between her character and John Wayne's is particularly well portrayed. This is exactly how these two individuals (as they are depicted in the film) would have behaved.

The script is very well written. It lacks all pomposity. and is a realistic depiction of the manner in which the depicted events may have occurred. The characters are real people, not self-consciously "great" figures from history. Furthermore, the clash of cultures and interests is portrayed with great skill and subtlety. Indeed, the clash of a traditionalist, and traditionally powerful, isolationist Japan and a rising, newly powerful nation from across the ocean is summarised very well in one exchange between John Wayne and the local Japanese baron. Wayne complains that shipwrecked sailors are beheaded if they land in Japan, and that passing ships cannot even put into port for water. The Baron responds that Japan just wants to be left alone. Wayne's character replies that Japan is at an increasingly important crossroads of international shipping, and that if things continue as before the nation will be regarded as nothing more than a band of brigands infesting an important roadway. A very real summary of the way in which the two countries each saw themselves as being in the right, and saw the other as being in the wrong. The resultant clash between two self-righteous peoples with conflicting interests has its reflections throughout history, a continuing theme that echoes into the present and on into the future.

Cinematography and the depiction of mid-nineteenth century Japan, before the accelerated growth towards industrialisation that was to follow later in the century, is excellent. A visual treat, and an enlightening insight into Japan's ancient civilisation.

I highly recommend anyone, whether a John Wayne fan or not, to watch this film if you get the chance. Just be aware that it isn't an action film. It is a representation of an interesting place and time in history, and a slow-boiling love story which (much to their surprise) comes to dominate the personal lives of the two main characters. Watch this film on its merits, without preconceptions, allow yourself to be immersed in its story, and you will thoroughly enjoy it.

All in all, an excellent film.


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
John Huston quit? alan4artg
Eiko Ando Walthall
Discuss The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?