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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Townsend Harris went on to found the City College of New York, one of the most distinguished public colleges in the United States. Sam Jaffe, who played Harris's right-hand man Henry Heusken in the film, was an alumnus of City College. See more »
When the infected sailors abandon ship and swim ashore, the locals assist them out of the water despite Harris' warnings not to touch them. The natives thereupon all get sick as the disease sweeps through the town, but cholera is rarely spread directly from person to person. The most common method of infection is ingesting tainted food or water. See more »
A Hollywood mini-epic that is more about the barbarian's political strategies than the geisha's sensual art. In fact, though John Wayne was the right choice for the role of Townsend Harris, the first US consul general in Japan, he looks awkward as a romantic lead, especially besides sleek Eiko Ando as the geisha. Huston handled the Japanese aspects of the story in a reverent fashion; the film even begs for subtitles, since he let the Japanese perform considerable portions of dialogue in their native language. As Wayne perhaps for different reasons- Huston must have felt attracted to the colonialist side of the story, but although it's known that Fox reshot scenes and re-edited the film, there wasn't much to do with a script concealing the expansionist interest in breaking Japan isolationism behind the Consul General's demagogy. A recommended curio.
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