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The Barbarian and the Geisha (1958)

In 1856, the first U.S. Consul General to Japan encounters the hostility of the local authorities and the love of a young geisha.



(screenplay), (story)

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Complete credited cast:
Governor Tamura (as So Yamamura)


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


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


TV-G | See all certifications »





Release Date:

30 September 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Barbarian  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?


Marlon Brando was considered for the lead role. 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 »

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User Reviews

The Duke takes on John Houston
9 June 2000 | by See all my reviews

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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