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 <email@example.com>
John Huston later dismissed this film, claiming that the final version, re-cut by the studio, didn't resemble his vision at all and that he would've liked to have his name removed from the credits. Stylistically, Huston wanted to make it a particularly Japanese film in terms of photography, pacing, color and narration. According to him, only bits of this attempt were still intact and visible in the theatrical version. 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 »
An interesting look at Japan prior to opening to the West. John Wayne as America's first consul to Japan arrives in accordance with agreements resulting from Perry's gunboat diplomacy. He is not welcome. Wayne eventually wins his meeting with the Shogun after bring a cholera epidemic, introduced by an American ship, under control. There follows a colorful procession to the capital bearing gifts for the Shogun, including a bottle of Old Tanglefoot. The meeting with the Shogun, the debates among the Japanese nobles and an assassination during an archery exhibit present an interesting look at the politics of the period. Altogether a rather enjoyable movie and besides how often do you get to see the Duke lose a fight to a guy half his size.
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